Turkey’s pre­mier warns op­po­si­tion against street protests

Malta Independent - - WORLD -

Turkey’s op­po­si­tion par­ties have the right to file ob­jec­tions to the out­come of a re­cent ref­er­en­dum on ex­pand­ing pres­i­den­tial pow­ers, the prime min­is­ter said Wed­nes­day, but he warned that call­ing for street protests was un­ac­cept­able. Bi­nali Yildirim said the elec­toral board would rule on the main op­po­si­tion Repub­li­can Peo­ple’s Party’s re­quest for the ref­er­en­dum’s an­nul­ment. Op­po­si­tion par­ties have com­plained of a se­ries of ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties, par­tic­u­larly an elec­toral board de­ci­sion to ac­cept bal­lots with­out of­fi­cial stamps, as re­quired by Turk­ish law. Yildirim said the “the path to seek rights” should be lim­ited to le­gal ob­jec­tions. “Call­ing peo­ple to the street is wrong and is out­side the line of le­git­i­macy,” Yildirim said, adding that “we ex­pect the main op­po­si­tion party’s leader to act more re­spon­si­bly.” Thou­sands have protested in Is­tan­bul and Ankara since Sun­day’s ref­er­en­dum, which has set into mo­tion the trans­for­ma­tion of Turkey’s sys­tem of govern­ment from a par­lia­men­tary to a pres­i­den­tial one. Un­of­fi­cial re­sults show a nar­row win for Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan’s “yes” cam­paign, which won 51.4 per­cent of the vote. “The main op­po­si­tion party not rec­og­niz­ing the re­sults is not an ac­cept­able thing,” Yildirim said. Elec­toral board head Sadi Gu­ven said the ob­jec­tions would be eval­u­ated Wed­nes­day.

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