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Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev’s congratulatory message issued to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and in connection with winning Sunday’s constitutional referendum, has caused considerable reaction in Turkey.

In this regard, numerous sarcastic posts and comments have been made on Turkish social media and the opposition press. These comments stress that after broadening the powers of Azerbaijan president, Aliyev had appointed his wife as vice president of the country, and therefore it is logical that he was the first to congratulate Erdoğan.

“Aliyev is happy that he will not be the only president who is the target of criticism, since his ‘big brother’ Erdoğan also joined him,” tweeted a Turkish social media user.

Ilham Aliyev’s appointing First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva as the vice president of Azerbaijan was ridiculed to a great extent in Turkey; but, as a result, several TV commentators were sacked. 

According to preliminary results, the Erdoğan-led “Yes” campaign has won Sunday’s plebiscite by garnering 51.2 percent of the votes.

Eighteen constitutional amendments were put to the vote on Sunday, and according to which Turkey is to transition from a parliamentary to a presidential system of governance.

Turkish opposition and international analysts stress, however, that with these amendments, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is gaining the sole right to govern Turkey, and that this is perilous for democracy and freedoms in the country.

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