On April 16, Turkish citizens voted yes in a referendum to abolish the role of prime minister in favor of a presidential system. Across the world, western media outlets described the vote as the death of Turkish democracy, with headlines like RIP Turkey, 1921-2017, Democracy Loses in Turkey, and Turkey’s Vote Makes Erdogan Effectively a Dictator.
The country’s political opposition believes the referendum gives the current president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan too much power. The new rules will kick in after the 2019 elections, and if Erdogan is re-elected in 2019 and again in 2024, he could potentially rule until 2029.
So why would anyone vote for a referendum that so many label as a ‘death wish to democracy’? In the video above, Quartz interviewed several “yes” voters and asked them why they voted to strengthen the presidency.