Turkey's Erdogan appears to be winning vote that will give him broad new powers

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was within reach Sunday of winning his bid to replace parliamentary democracy with an all-powerful “presidential system,” according to preliminary results in the Turkish constitutional referendum.

With 98% of the ballots counted, Erdogan supporters were ahead 51.5% to 48.5%, according to the state-run Anadolu News Agency.

The predominantly Kurdish southeast of Turkey voted decisively against the changes, as did Aegean coastal districts controlled by the opposition Republican People’s Party, and the “no” vote also appears to have won by a close margin in Istanbul, Ankara and other major cities.

But Erdogan’s Justice and Democracy Party (AKP) swept nearly all of the Anatolian heartland, as it had in the last national parliamentary elections, in November 2016.

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