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Turks began voting in a hotly contested referendum Sunday that could place sweeping new powers in the hands of President Tayyip Erdogan and herald the most radical change to the country's political system in its modern history.Opinion polls have given a narrow lead for a "Yes" vote, which would replace Turkey's parliamentary democracy with an all-powerful presidency and may see Erdogan in office until at least 2029 .The referendum has bitterly divided the nation. Erdogan and his supporters say the changes are needed to amend the current constitution, written by generals following a 1980 military coup, confront the security and political challenges Turkey faces, and avoid the fragile coalition governments of the past.Erdogan called the moves "Nazi acts" and said Turkey could reconsider ties with the European Union after many years of seeking EU membership.On the eve of the vote, Erdogan held four separate rallies in Istanbul, urging supporters to turn out in large numbers.
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