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Turkey to announce date of referendum this week

Turkey to announce date of referendum this weekTurkey's high electoral board is expected to pick the date this week for a referendum on constitutional changes that would extend the powers of the presidency.

The announcment was made by Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Wednesday.

The referendum is likely to be held sometime between April 1 and April 20, Yildirim told a meeting of officials from the ruling AK Party.

"I believe the president will approve it this week and a concrete date will be set," he said.

Turkey’s parliament approved a contentious constitutional reform package early Saturday, paving the way for a referendum on a presidential system that would greatly expand the powers of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s office.

In an all-night session lawmakers voted in favor of a set of amendments presented by the ruling party, founded by Erdogan. The reform bill cleared the minimum threshold necessary to put the measures to a national referendum for final approval.
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