Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has insisted that his plans to assume sweeping new powers do not make him a dictator.
In an exclusive interview with CNN, Erdogan said that a constitutional reform package -- backed by a narrow majority of Turkey's voters in a referendum on Sunday -- was not about him.
"I am a mortal really, I could die at any time," he told Becky Anderson inside Ankara's presidential palace Tuesday, in his first interview since the vote.
Turkish voters on Sunday passed an 18-article constitutional reform package that will transform the country's parliamentary system into a powerful executive presidency. The plan, put forward by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), gives Erdogan sweeping and largelyunchecked powers.
Erdogan rejected accusations that he supported the new powers out of a desire to empower himself rather than improve Turkey's political system. "The system represents a change, a transformation in the democratic history of Turkey," he said.