In at least some overseas countries, if not overall, the "Yes" vote for the 2017 Turkish referendum was as strong as that within Turkey itself.

If they're living in countries with somewhat good, if not absolutely perfect, freedom of speech and the press, unlike what is happening in Turkey itself, why is this the case?

  • 1
    How is freedom of speech relevant here? Turkey's freedom of speech record is already abysmal, and I don't see how it wouldn't improve with a "no" vote (or how it'll worsen now).
    – yannis
    Apr 17, 2017 at 10:12
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    @yannis within Turkey, the "no" camp wouldn't be able to express themselves freely, but outside of Turkey, they should be able to.
    – Golden Cuy
    Apr 17, 2017 at 10:25
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    Ah, I see. This is a very complicated question. My naive take is that people in the Turkish diaspora that feel integrated into the countries they live in didn't vote at all, whereas those who feel alienated voted "yes" en masse.
    – yannis
    Apr 17, 2017 at 10:41
  • @yannis - seems like a plausible theory, though I am aware of anecdotal examples contradicting this (surprisingly, I heard people be positive about Edrogan who had reasons to dislike the military over THEIR infringements on freedom and partly emigrated over that, prior to Edrogan taking power).
    – user4012
    Apr 17, 2017 at 13:51
  • Keep in mind that the influence of Erdoğan reaches far outside of Turkey. thelocal.de/20170215/…
    – liftarn
    Apr 18, 2017 at 7:56

1 Answer 1


One factor to be aware of is the strength of the "yes" campaign abroad. To quote an article from a month ago:

Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is campaigning to greatly expand his presidential powers in an impending constitutional referendum. To win, he needs votes from the huge Turkish diaspora. His government is going after them with gusto – and in the course of just a few days, those efforts threw up a fully-fledged diplomatic fracas.

This "diplomatic fracas" may be another factor in itself. Both in the Netherlands (see the article quoted above) and in Germany, local officials intervened in campaign activities, citing security concerns. Decrying these measures as "Nazi practices", Erdoğan played this interference up in his favor.

Finally I would point out that the split in support for the referendum closely reflects the split in support for Erdoğan himself. He is a charismatic leader, and the people who voted yes were essentially voting their confidence in him.

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