Saturday, 26 May, 2018

Turkey's Premier Warns Opposition against Street Protests

Turkey's Premier Warns Opposition against Street Protests Turkey's Premier Warns Opposition against Street Protests
Ellis Copeland | 26 April, 2017, 09:51

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan greets his supporters in Istanbul, Turkey, April 16, 2017.

Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition HDP party has filed an appeal for the annulment of the referendum which will grant President Erdogan sweeping new powers, citing widespread violations.

Hundreds of Turkish citizens also lined up outside election board offices in Ankara and Istanbul on Tuesday, to submit petitions requesting the board to reverse its declaration following the referendum results.

People walk in central Istanbul's Taksim Square, Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

Opposition parties had called on the electoral board to annul Sunday's referendum, which was narrowly won by the "Yes" camp, because unstamped ballot papers were included in the vote count. The EU had "made us wait at its door for 54 years", Erdogan said.

Electoral board head Sadi Guven said the objections would be evaluated Wednesday.

Prime Minister and AKP leader Binali Yildirim said Erdogan could rejoin the party he founded in 2001 once official results - expected before the end of the month - were announced.

The U.S. State Department said it had taken note of the European monitors' concerns and looked forward to a final report, urging the Turkish government to protect the rights and freedoms of all citizens, however they voted.

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"Calling people to the street is wrong and is outside the line of legitimacy", Yildirim said, adding, "we expect the main opposition party's leader to act more responsibly".

There have been daily street protests in anti-Erdogan neighbourhoods in Istanbul since Sunday's referendum, which the opposition claims was marred by blatant vote rigging.

Earlier, 19 people were detained for allegedly using the results of a constitutional referendum as an "excuse" to organize "unauthorized demonstrations", official Anadolu news agency reported.

Unofficial results show a narrow win for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's "yes" campaign, which garnered 51.4 per cent of the vote. "From the German government's point of view, Turkey must. clear up the questions that have been raised".

Michael Link, the top election observer for the OSCE, told a group of local German newspapers on Wednesday that Turkish authorities were not cooperating in addressing alleged election manipulation.

Trump telephoned Erdogan on Monday to "congratulate" him on "his referendum victory" and to discuss last week's US cruise missile strike on Syria and cooperation in the campaign there against the Islamic State, a White House statement said.

Bozdag also reiterated government criticism of a report by European election observers who said the referendum, carried out under emergency law, took place on an "unlevel playing field".

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