Turkey EU Membership Charter Referendum, 2010

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A Turkey EU Membership Charter Referendum vote was held during a September 12, 2010 election in Turkey.

This measure was approved by voters by 59%.[1]

The Turkish Parliament had been debating the possible charter changes to be put to a vote. The charter changes were proposed in order to make the country more democratic and help ensure Turkey's ascension into the European Union. Debate was a long ongoing issue between party members and most disagreed on the changes that have been put forward.[2] The secularist parties has threatened to ask the courts to block any changes proposed by the leading party. A two-thirds majority was needed in parliament in order to get the referendum approved. The ruling party has also noted that opinion polls show favor for constitutional reforms.[3]

The Turkish Election Board set the date for the referendum vote for September 12, 2010. A large part of the changes deal with the military and the judicial elite who often interfere and try to persuade the government to their positions. Opposition parties to the current party in power stated that they amendments only tighten the parties grip on power and undermine the checks and balance system. The main party against this package pans to petition the court to block the referendum and have a new set of proposed changes offered up to the people for a vote. Other provisions in the amendment package include greater rights for workers to strike, further rights for women and also giving civilian courts the ability to try military members during times of peace.[4]

The proposed amendments had created a divided battle for the upcoming election, those more conservative Muslim government officials and a more secular circle of activists. Those trying to reform the country to be more democratic and help with the potential EU membership. Recent polling in the country show that a slight majority of residents favor the constitutional amendment changes.[5]

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