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Global Energy Advisory April 21, 2017

Erdogan

Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict

• The referendum to change Turkey into an executive presidential system has passed with the narrowest of margins, even though the opposition and EU bodies claim that 2.5 million votes could have been manipulated. With all votes counted, supporters of the proposal had 51.3 percent of votes cast, and opponents had 48.7 percent. Opposition parties had called on the electoral board to annul the referendum, but Turkey's High Electoral Board has rejected the appeal. It is certain that Turkey's shift toward a more authoritarian system will represent a dramatic change for Turkey domestically in the long term. The vote has shown just how deeply polarized the Turkish electorate has become. The proposal went through despite losing the three largest cities in the vote — Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir. On other hand, the country’s foreign policy will remain largely unchanged. It will continue its focus in northern Iraq and Syria in order to contain Kurdish strength and expansion. The European Union has taken a measured stance on the referendum issue, aware that it must tread carefully with its relations to Turkey, which it considers a major partner in gas matters and a key alternative to Gazprom’s gas routes. Also, the EU understands that they still need Turkey's cooperation in order to contain migrant traffic and keep a check on Russia. The mission of observers from the 47-member Council of Europe, the continent's leading…

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