Turkey’s premier warns opposition against street protests
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.