April 24, 2017

Turkey's supreme election board rejects opposition referendum annulment bid

21 April 2017, 09:34 | Darnell Patrick

Before the electoral board's announcement, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the opposition had the right to file objections, but warned that calling for street protests was unacceptable.

'Unlevel playing field' The opposition had already complained of an unfair campaign that saw the "Yes" backers swamp the airwaves and use billboards across the country in a saturation advertising campaign.

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

Speaking to CNN, he said: 'Where dictatorships exist, you don't have to have a presidential system.

"This is not a system belonging to Tayyip Erdoğan. I can die anytime", he told the channel.

The final results of the referendum are expected to be known within 10-11 days.

He says the party's next stop is Turkey's constitutional court and, if it is unsuccessful there, then the European Court of Human Rights.

"Turkey remains Poland's strategic partner in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and in the. security architecture".

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"The crusader mentality in the West and its servants at home have attacked us", he said.

Thousands took to the streets of Istanbul on Monday evening to protest the results, with some holding banners which read "No has won", referring to the referendum's "no" votes.

Trump's congratulations on Monday were in contrast with European Union leaders who have been reserved in their reaction to the narrow victory and even his own State Department, which earlier noted concerns expressed by worldwide observers over the "uneven playing field".

Turkey's biggest cities - Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir - voted "No" on Sunday, along with industrial heartlands, tourist hotspots and ports in 33 provinces, outward-looking regions that have thrived on strong relations with Europe and are increasingly fearful of the future.

The referendum on constitutional amendments that would expand the powers of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was held in Turkey on Sunday, with 51.4 percent of voters supporting the proposed amendments.

Meanwhile, parliament agreed to extend the state of emergency - already in place for nine months - for another three months to July 19.

"For years, we have worked on getting ourselves integrated with the world", Serafettin Asut, head of the chamber of commerce and industry in the Mediterranean city of Mersin, home to one of Turkey's largest worldwide ports. Now, she ekes out a living selling chicken and rice from a food cart, dreaming of being reunited with her classroom.

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