Erdogan, center, marks the coup anniversary in Ankara
Erdogan supports Sunday night

ISTANBUL — The narrow win of the "yes' camp in Sunday's crucial constitutional amendment to change Turkey to a presidential system is a major victory for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP). Though final results are not yet certified, 51.3% of the more than 58 million Turkish voters (turnout of more than 84%) favored the sweeping package of changes.

The approval of the amendment package — which was backed by the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and opposed by the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), the third largest party in parliament — means an administrative shift will take place in 2019 if no early elections are held, Istanbul-based top daily Hürriyet reports.

But, as Ali Kayalar wrote in Hürriyet, the tight win in the April 16 constitutional amendment referendum will raises as many questions as it answers for AKP. "The party lost its dominance in Turkey's largest cities Istanbul and Ankara, falling far behind the sum total of 60.4 percent that it and its referendum ally the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) achieved in the most recent general election on Nov. 1, 2015."

Read the full piece here.

Protests by the opposition were expected Monday.

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Geopolitics

Taliban Redux, Cleaned-Up Image Can't Mask Their Cruel Reality

Twenty years later the Islamist group is back in power in Afghanistan, but trying this time to win international support. Now that several months have passed, experts on the ground can offer a clear assessment if the group has genuinely transformed on such issues as women's rights and free speech.

The Taliban have now been in power for almost five months

Atal Ahmadzai and Faten Ghosn

The international community is closely monitoring the Taliban, after the group re-seized power in Afghanistan in August 2021.

There is legitimate reason for concern. The Taliban are again ruling through fear and draconian rules.

The Taliban’s last regime, in the mid-1990s, was marked by human rights violations, including massacres, mass detentions and rape. The regime collapsed on Nov. 14, 2001, shortly after the U.S. launched its global war on terrorism.

Even after the Taliban officially fell from power, their subsequent two decades of insurgency produced various gross human rights violations, an encompassing term under international human rights law.

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