Europe

Turkish voters' views on constitutional referendum

Voters in Turkey are going to decide over the weekend whether to back a package of constitutional reforms in a referendum.

The government says amendments to the charter of 1982, drawn up under military rule, will strengthen democracy. Critics say some of the changes are aimed at diminishing the role of the military and the secular nature of Turkish society.

Some of them gave their views on the proposed changes and the role of the military to BBC World Service.

Bayram Sezgin, greengrocer

The military is quite powerful, not as powerful as before but still powerful.

In politics they still have some power. But if this referendum passes, they may lose that.

I am voting yes to the referendum because military service is currently 18 months. It's really too long. It's terrible for the youngsters.

Arto Aharaum, Armenian metal worker

This referendum won't change anything.

The military will always be powerful; they haven't lost any of their power.

I am voting no. To be honest I don't know why, but I'll vote no.

Eda Utku, works for a yachts magazine

I am going to vote no. I think they [the government] definitely have a hidden agenda.

There are laws in our system that we cannot change, the articles we should not even ask to change.

I think their aim is to change at least one of these which is that Turkey is a secular country.

Mete Goktug, architect and conservationist

The army should be under the control of the government, and this has been said for over 40 years.

It's right to reduce the power of the military; it's the civil servant of the government you know.

I will vote yes, because these are very democratic steps.

Retired vice-admiral, Admiral Isik Biren

The military views the Turkish republic as a precious entity to be protected against all kinds of threat.

They do not represent any political view. They are just like a fire-brigade; they walk in when there is a fire.

I can see that a lot of people will say that this law change will not help.

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