The Turkish people recently voted for changes in their constitution that will give the president more powers. The vote was very close. 51.4% of the people were in favor of the changes, and 48.6% were against. The people who were for the changes were out celebrating. The people who were against were out banging pots and pans expressing their unhappiness. Here are a couple of the changes. There will no longer be a prime minister of Turkey, just the president. The role of president can be held by a person for 2 five-year terms. You can watch a video about this here.
The president of Turkey is Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He became Turkey’s president in 2014. Before that, he was the prime minister of the country for about 11 years.
In July last year, a group in Turkey’s military tried to take over the country and overthrow Erdogan from the post of president (known as a coup). In this case, the coup failed as it did not get the support of the citizens or other folks in the military. Erdogan ordered his troops to bring in all people who could have any links to the coup attempt for questioning. Thousands of people have since been arrested or detained.
The modern country of Turkey was founded in 1923. Its first leader was Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who is looked upon as the founder of the country. He was given the title “Ataturk”, which means “Father of the Turks.” It was under him that the first constitution of modern Turkey was written. Before 1923, Turkey was part of the Ottoman Empire. Ankara is Turkey’s capital and Istanbul is its largest city.
Did you know?
Two of the “Seven Wonders of the Ancient World” (Mausoleum at Halicarnassus and the Temple of Artemis) were located in present-day Turkey. Here is a list of all 7 of them.
Image Credits: http://www.kultur.gov.tr for Kemal Atatürk’s image, https://www.tccb.gov.tr for Erdogan’s image, Pivox for Turkey coup image
Sources: http://kids.nationalgeographic.com, BBC, New York Times, CIA World Factbook, Daniel Craggs