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Turkey

Turkish referendum polls put ‘yes’ vote slightly ahead

A huge portrait of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is seen above a banner that reads, "This city is proud of raising a world leader" in Rize on the Black Sea coast, Turkey, April 5, 2017. Letters on the portrait read "Rise is with you"

Two Turkish opinion polls on Wednesday showed a narrow majority of Turks, between 51-52 per cent, would vote ‘yes’ in Sunday’s referendum on changing the constitution to create an executive presidency.

Voters in Turkey will go to the polls on April 16 to decide whether to give Erdogan sweeping new powers. Voting by Turks abroad began as early as late March and finished on Sunday.

A survey by pollsters ANAR put the ‘yes’ vote on 52 per cent. Its poll was conducted face-to-face with more than 4,000 people on April 5-10 in 26 provinces.

The number of undecided voters has fallen to 8 per cent, ANAR said, adding that after distribution of these voters, there was a two percentage point rise in the ‘yes’ vote compared with its survey at the start of March.

The results only apply to voters in Turkey, with the level of ‘yes’ support among voters abroad expected to raise the ‘yes’ vote slightly, ANAR said in a statement shared on Twitter by its general manager Ibrahim Uslu.

Erdogan said on Tuesday Turks living overseas had turned out in greater numbers to vote, a development that pollsters say could benefit him.

The referendum campaign has damaged Turkey‘s ties with some European allies. Erdogan has said the banning on security grounds of some rallies by Turkish ministers in the Netherlands and Germany reflects “Nazi-like” tactics in those countries.

The Konsensus polling company put the ‘yes’ vote on 51.2 per cent after the distribution of undecided voters. It conducted its survey face-to-face with 2,000 people on April 2-8 in 41 provinces.

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