THE Turkish Lira lira rallied strongly on Monday to its highest level against the dollar after Turkey’s referendum ended Sunday with victory for the ‘Yes ‘campaign.

The lira strengthened more than 3.5 percent in Asian trade Sunday, from 3.74 to 3.63 against the greenback.

Some 51.3 percent of the more than 58 million Turkish voters said “yes” to the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) constitutional amendment package in a tight race to decide on whether to shift to an executive presidential system.  The ‘No’ vote mustered 48.7 percent.

The gap between the two votes stood at around 1.3 million according to midnight figures by the state-run Anadolu Agency. The turnout exceeded 84 percent.

The approval of the amendment package – which was backed by the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and opposed by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the third largest party in parliament – means an administrative shift will take place in 2019 if no early elections are held.

How Turkey’s provinces voted in the referendum

However, the ruling party is expected to call for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to return to lead the AKP, something that was officially forbidden in the former system due to the constitutional impartiality of the president.

The most debated change in the 18-article package was the granting of executive powers to the elected president, who can pick his cabinet ministers from outside parliament.

Accordingly, the parliamentary and presidential elections will be held on the same day every five years.

Mr Erdoğan claimed victory and said Turkey has resolved a 200-year-old conflict in its administration. “Today… Turkey has taken a historic decision,” Erdoğan told reporters at his official Istanbul residence, the Huber Palace.

“That decision was no ordinary one. Today is the day when a change, a decision to shift to a truly serious administrative system was made,” he said.

“I would like to thank all our citizens, regardless of how they voted, who went to the polling stations to protect their national will.”

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said there was a “new Turkey in the true sense” after Sunday’s referendum outcome. Giving a speech to a crowd of spectators who had assembled at the provincial headquarters of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party, Çavuşoğlu said, “As of now, there is a new Turkey. There will be stability and trust in the new Turkey.”

However, CHP will demand a recount of up to 40 percent of votes cast in the referendum, the party’s deputy chairman Erdal Aksünger said.  The party alleged illegal acts” were being carried out in favour of the government in the referendum.

On a local level, Didim voted 72 percent in favour of ‘No’.