From the past to the present, many referendums have been held in our country. Voting to determine the will of the people on some important issues such as constitutional amendment has an important place in the past and future of our country. As such, our compatriots are wondering what a referendum is and how often a referendum is held in our country. We have compiled the answers to questions such as what is a referendum, how many votes are needed for a referendum, and how many referendums have been held in Turkey. First of all, let’s start by answering the question of what a referendum is.
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What is a referendum?
Referendum, also known as popular referendum or tdk popular vote, is the name given to the vote to determine the will of the people on some important issues such as adoption of laws and constitutional amendment. In the referendum, the opinions and desires of the people are directly reflected in the administration. This is one of the best examples of direct democracy. Referendums are often put to a vote by a legislative body to determine the will of the people. Referendums do not offer different options to the public, you just vote to accept or reject a proposal. Now that we know what a referendum is, let’s move on.
How many votes are needed for a referendum?
Let’s consider this issue on the basis of the constitutional amendment. As we all know, there are 600 deputies in the Turkish Grand National Assembly. For a motion to change the TGNA, 200 deputies, representing not less than one-third of the total number of members, must propose in writing. On the other hand, a three-fifths majority must approve the amendment proposal. This means 360 people. If the amendment proposal receives more than 400 votes, it does not need to be submitted to a referendum.
How many referendums have been held in Türkiye?
Currently, there are 7 referendums in Türkiye.
The first referendum held in Turkey was the 1961 referendum on amending the Turkish constitution. This referendum of the people’s will was submitted to the new constitution that was prepared after the May 27 coup. For the adoption of the 1961 constitution, 61.7% voted yes to 38.3% no.
In the referendum on the 1982 constitution, which was prepared after the September 12 coup, 863% of the votes were given “no” and 91.37% of the votes were “yes.”
A 1987 referendum was held on the Turkish constitutional amendment on September 6, 1987 on whether to lift the 10-year and 5-year political bans under the provisional Article IV of the 1982 constitution. The results announced 6 days after the referendum were 49.84% no, 50.16% Yes. Based on this vote, provisional Article 4 was rescinded.
The referendum held in 1988 was the first that did not come. It was held on September 25, 1988 in order to determine whether or not to postpone the local elections in Article 127 of the 1982 Constitution for a year. 65% of citizens voted “no” and 35% “yes”.
The referendum held on October 21, 2007 had submitted to the will of the people some constitutional amendments, especially the election of the President of the Republic by the people. In this referendum, citizens voted 31.05% for no and 68.95% for yes.
The package, which includes an amendment of twenty-six articles, was put to a referendum by President Abdullah Gul after it was approved by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. In this referendum, citizens voted 42.12% for no and 57.88% for yes.
In the referendum held in 2017, citizens voted for the scheduled amendments to 18 articles of the Turkish constitution. The amendment package includes abolishing the position of the prime minister, abolishing the current parliamentary system and replacing it with the presidential system, making changes in the structure of the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors, and increasing the number of deputies in parliament from 550 to 600. In this referendum, citizens voted 48.59% no and 51.41% yes.
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