A referendum on vast new powers for the president hangs in the balance despite his comprehensive crackdown on dissent.
Should this amendment be approved on 16 April, Erdoğan will assume all parliamentary powers, including the ability to suspend parliament. He will rule over the council that appoints prosecutors and judges, which means total control over the judiciary. In other words, he wants to remove any hope of Turkey being a secular democracy, instead transforming it into a religion-based dictatorship.
A no vote could rein in his unchecked rise. A yes result will mean the birth of yet another Putinesque regime in the region.
Having trampled the constitution that he swore to uphold and thrown aside his responsibility to be impartial, Erdoğan has entered the campaign trail supported by the bureaucracy, media, academia, the military and the police. Anyone campaigning for no faces dismissal from their jobs and arrest. A thick cloud of fear has descended over Turkey.
Article by Can Dundar