Street protests unacceptable, Turkish PM warns opposition

Street protests unacceptable, Turkish PM warns opposition

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Supporters of the “No” march in Istanbul to submit their petition to call for the annulment of a referendum that approved sweeping constitutional changes boosting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s powers, claiming blatant vote-rigging had swung the result. — AFP
Supporters of the “No” march in Istanbul to submit their petition to call for the annulment of a referendum that approved sweeping constitutional changes boosting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s powers, claiming blatant vote-rigging had swung the result. — AFP

ISTANBUL — Turkey’s prime minister says opposition parties have the right to file objections to the outcome of a recent referendum on expanding presidential powers, but warned that calling for street protests was unacceptable.

Binali Yildirim said Wednesday 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 and urged the opposition to accept the vote’s outcome.

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 into a presidential one.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said that a critical report by European observers on the referendum contained several mistakes which he believed were deliberate.

Observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe said Sunday’s referendum had been an uneven contest.

“The OSCE’s report has no reliability as their observations lack objectivity and are extremely partial,” Cavusoglu told a news conference in Ankara. — Agencies

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