Ocnus.Net
News Before It's News
About us | Ocnus? |

Front Page 
 
 Africa
 
 Analyses
 
 Business
 
 Dark Side
 
 Defence & Arms
 
 Dysfunctions
 
 Editorial
 
 International
 
 Labour
 
 Light Side
 
 Research
Search

Dark Side Last Updated: Apr 21, 2017 - 9:21:23 AM


Turkey rejects referendum challenges as activists detained
By EURACTIV19/4/17
Apr 20, 2017 - 11:17:34 AM

Email this article
 Printer friendly page

Turkey’s election authority rejected opposition requests on Wednesday (19 April) to cancel a referendum that boosted President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s authority as police detained activists over street protests following the contested poll.

The narrow victory of the ‘Yes’ campaign in Sunday’s referendum (16 April) handed Erdoğan sweeping new powers – most of which will come into force after 2019 – but was bitterly disputed by his rivals.

EU urges probe into Turkey referendum fraud claims

Turkey’s opposition on Tuesday (18 April) demanded the annulment of a contentious referendum that approved sweeping constitutional changes boosting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s powers, claiming blatant vote-rigging had swung the result.

The controversy has stoked further political tensions over the rule of Erdoğan, who has dominated Turkey since becoming premier in 2003 and president in 2014.

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) had asked that the poll be scrapped on Tuesday (18 April) over alleged violations.

Although the ‘Yes’ camp won with 51.41%, it was a narrower-than-expected victory with the opposition claiming the outcome would have been reversed in a fair poll.

Ten members of the Supreme Election Board (YSK) decided against annulling the vote, while only one voted in favour, the board said in a statement.

To the dismay of opposition parties and ‘No’ supporters, the YSK made a last-minute decision on Sunday to accept ballot papers in envelopes without an official stamp.

International observers from the OSCE and the Council of Europe rights watchdog denounced the move, saying it “removed an important safeguard”.

Bulent Tezcan, CHP deputy leader, told CNN-Turk the YSK’s decision to reject the petitions sparked a “serious legitimacy crisis”.

16 protesters arrested

There have been daily street protests in anti-Erdoğan neighbourhoods in Istanbul since Sunday’s referendum, with thousands chanting slogans and banging pots and pans in an angry show of discontent.

On Wednesday, Istanbul police detained 16 leftwing activists involved in demonstrations.

Among them was Mesut Gecgel, the Istanbul chairman of the leftist Freedom and Solidarity Party (ODP), which is not represented in parliament.

The party said he was detained on accusations of “agitating the public” by claiming the ‘Yes’ vote was illegitimate.

Gecgel’s lawyer Deniz Demirdogen told AFP that anti-terror police raided the suspects’ homes before dawn, saying 16 people were detained so far but arrest warrants had been issued for 38.

Describing the accusations as “strange”, he added: “They are accused of provoking people to question the legitimacy of the ‘Yes’ in the referendum.

“But there’s no such crime definition in the penal code.”

Speaking in Ankara earlier, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said the matter of the election result was closed and warned against further protests.

“Turkey is a state of law… and there can be no talk of anarchy, activities in the street,” he said.

“I call on people not to give in to provocations or get caught up in incitement.”

“All legal paths”

CHP spokeswoman Selin Sayek Boke vowed that the party would use all means to challenge the result and called for a rerun of the vote.
Turkish CHP party accuses Erdogan of undermining democracy

A senior representative of the Turkish Republican People’s Party (CHP), harshly criticised the ruling AK party of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan today (11 October) for undermining democracy after the failed coup attempt last July.

“We will use all the legal paths and all legitimate democratic rights… No-one should doubt this,” she told reporters in Ankara, saying such steps could even include “withdrawing from parliament”.

But Levent Gok, the CHP’s parliamentary group leader, later rejected the idea of boycotting parliament, saying it would use “all legitimate means” to protect the parliament.

Turkey’s leading satirical weekly Penguen meanwhile took a cutting look at the situation by printing a blank cover.

“From now on, covers without cartoons will also be counted as valid,” said the caption, in reference to the controversy over the counting of unstamped ballots.

Çavuşoğlu: Trump “makes us happy”

The referendum has also caused new friction in Turkey’s relationship with the European Union, which it has long sought to join but which gave the ‘Yes’ victory the most lukewarm welcome.
Turkey-EU relations deteriorate from gentleman’s agreement to sanctions rhetoric

The EU and Turkey should focus on working together, as they have both already proven that they are capable of doing so. The Customs Agreement and Visa Liberalisation frameworks are a good starting point, writes Ahmet Ceran.

By contrast, Donald Trump joined Russian President Vladimir Putin in congratulating Erdoğan, with the Turkish strongman expressing optimism over his relationship with the new US leader.

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told reporters in Ankara that Trump and Erdoğan would meet in May before a NATO summit.

“The way President Trump is approaching these matters makes us happy,” Erdoğan told CNN in an interview.


Source:Ocnus.net 2017

Top of Page

Dark Side
Latest Headlines
Danger to the World It's Time to Get Rid of Donald Trump
Kobach Voter Fraud Commission Gets Fast Thumbs Down
Donald Trump and the Agony of H.R. McMaster: Will the President Dump His Second National Security Adviser?
Trump Budget Proposal Would Circumvent Courts to Target Undocumented Immigrants
Florida GOP operative asked for and received -- Russian hackers help in congressional race
Brazil Sinks Further Into Political Crisis, All Roads Lead Back to Lula
The Kushners, the Saudis and Blackstone: Behind the Recent Deals
The Illicit Superhighway: Transnational Organized Crime in Africa
Is Donald Trump's Casino Empire Linked to Money Laundering?
Colombian Armed Conflict Rages On as Guerrillas, Cartels Take Over Abandoned FARC Territories