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Turkey

Turkey Referendum, Erdogan Victory Leaves Questions Open

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."

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Protests by the opposition were expected Monday.

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Geopolitics

How Ukraine Keeps Getting The West To Flip On Arms Supplies

The open debate on weapon deliveries to Ukraine is highly unusual, but Kyiv has figured out how to use the public moral suasion — and patience — to repeatedly shift the question in its favor. But will it work now for fighter jets?

Photo of a sunset over the USS Nimitz with a man guiding fighter jets ready for takeoff

U.S fighter jets ready for takeoff on the USS Nimitz

Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — In what other war have arms deliveries been negotiated so openly in the public sphere?

On Monday, a journalist asked Joe Biden if he plans on supplying F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. He answered “No”. A few hours later, the same question was asked to Emmanuel Macron, about French fighter jets. Macron did not rule it out.

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Visiting Paris on Tuesday, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksïï Reznikov recalled that a year ago, the United States had refused him ground-air Stinger missiles deliveries. Eleven months later, Washington is delivering heavy tanks, in addition to everything else. The 'no' of yesterday is the green light of tomorrow: this is the lesson that the very pragmatic minister seemed to learn.

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