The GPM Global Forecast is a bi-weekly, members-only article series for 2017. It provides analysis and short-term forecasting on key military, political, and economic events around the globe.
April 16: Turks Decide whether to Make Erdogan President-for-life
Turkey’s constitutional referendum will be held on April 16.
The vote will be a seminal one in the career of the powerful love-hate figure of President Erdogan. It will ask citizens to decide on a package of 18 constitutional amendments that could fundamentally change the workings of the Turkish state. Broadly speaking, they amount to a reshuffling of powers between the legislative and executive branches, with authority shifting toward the latter in something akin to a US-style presidential system. If passed, the referendum would eliminate the post of prime minister, allow Erdogan to serve as the head of the AKP party (currently the president must be neutral), abolish military courts (bringing soldiers under civilian jurisdiction), and pave the way for Erdogan to stand in elections for two more terms, setting the table for him to remain in power until 2029.