As in the 2009 local elections, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), mostly found support in the coastal areas around the Aegean and the Mediterranean, which largely voted in line with its “no” push.
The Nationalist Action Party (MHP), which also campaigned against the proposed reforms, faced a disappointment in most of the provinces where it won mayoral seats in the 2009 local elections. In Osmaniye, hometown of MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli, the majority said “yes” in Sunday’s referendum.
According to ANF, the boycott of the constitutional reform referendum called for by the pro-Kurdish BDP was influential in the country’s southeastern Kurdish provinces.
The BDP celebrated the referendum results in Diyarbakır with fireworks. In this most populated Kurdish city, nearly 70 percent of the voters joined boycott campaign. Only 276,609 of the total 840,859 voters casted their votes. Over half a million Kurds did not vote in the referendum.
In Van, second largest Kurdish city, voter turnout is 48 percent according to final results.
Only 7 percent of the total eligible voters showed themselves in ballots while a record of 93 percent joined boycott campaign in Hakkari.
77 percent of Sirnak’s voters also boycotted the referendum.
Mardin, Siirt and Batman are the other cities where voter turnout stayed under 50 percent.
In Mus 46 percent and in Dersim 35 percent of voters joined the boycott campaign by the BPD.
“Our message has reached the base of the Kurdish region,” BDP deputy Sırrı Sakık told the Hürriyet Daily News on Sunday. “What Kurds call for is a new constitution to solve the Kurdish problem and a process for dialogue,” Sakık said, adding that the Kurdish region had mostly proven loyal to the BDP boycott call.
He said the BDP acknowledges the fact that the majority of Turkey approved the constitutional changes. “This means the public is in favor of the government’s policies and that it finds the changes to be made important. This means the public thinks there is a need for a new constitution to solve the current problems.”
Sakık said the meeting point of both the boycotting Kurds and the “yes” voters is a “new constitution.” “The section of the population that did not vote has proven that they support the policies of the BDP, the most important of which is the bid for democratic autonomy."
Key issues in constitutional changes
Some key issues in a package of 26 reforms to Turkey’s military coup-era Constitution voted on in Sunday’s referendum:
Military — Gives officers fired by the military the right to appeal. Redefines the jurisdiction of military courts, empowers civilian courts to try military personnel for crimes against state security or against the constitutional order — such as coup attempts. Opens the way for the prosecution of Turkey’s 1980 military coup leaders.
Equality — Strengthens gender equality and bars discrimination against children, the elderly, the disabled and veterans.
Privacy — Recognizes the right to protection of personal information and access to official personal records.
Freedoms — Restricts travel bans imposed on individuals.
Labor — Allows membership in more than one union in a workplace. Recognizes the right to collective bargaining for civil servants and other state employees. Removes bans on politically motivated strikes.
Parliament — Ensures elected lawmakers stay in Parliament if their political party is disbanded by a court decision.
Constitutional Court — Increases the number of judges on the Constitutional Court from 11 to 17 and gives power to Parliament to appoint some of them. Recognizes the right of individual appeals to the court.
Judiciary — Increases the number of members on the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), which oversees the appointments of judges and prosecutors in the country, from seven to 22. Opens the way for appeals of decisions to remove them from the profession.