Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is greeted by cheering supporters in Istanbul a day after winning a historic referendum that gives him sweeping powers. Rough cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT. NO REPORTER NARRATION. Hundreds of supporters cheered Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan as he visited a mosque in Istanbul on Monday (April 17), a day after winning a referendum that will allow him to gain new sweeping powers. A populist with a background in once-banned Islamist parties, Erdogan has ruled since 2003 with no real rival, while his country emerged as one of the fastest-growing industrial powers in both Europe and the Middle East. The constitutional changes could keep him in power until 2029 or beyond, making him easily the most important figure in Turkish history since state founder Kemal Ataturk built a modern nation from the ashes of the Ottoman empire after World War One. In a signal of the direction he now plans for his nation, Erdogan said he would call a referendum to restore the death penalty and end Turkey's decades-long bid to join the European Union, the impetus for years of reforms.