At least 2,462 “No” campaigners have been detained and 453 of them have been sent to jail during the 85-day campaign in the run up to a referendum in Turkey to extend the country’s presidential powers, according to data compiled by the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
The HDP has released a report on “violation of democratic principles across the country” during the controversial referendum process. A package for constitutional change seeking to introduce an executive presidency in Turkey was approved by 51.4 percent of the voters in Sunday’s referendum.
Meanwhile, filmmaker Kazım Kızıl, who is known for his documentaries on human rights violations in Turkey, was put under pre-trial arrest on several charges including inciting protests in the aftermath of the controversial April 16 referendum. “Our people, with such result, direct us to the streets,” Kızıl wrote on his social media account on April 16 and it led a prosecutor to go after him. The court ruled on his arrest on Friday after he spent 5 days under detention.
“Yes” vote won with slight majority in the referendum on April 16. However debates over voting irregularities have yet to simmer down. The opposition and international observers say as many as 2.5 million voters could have been “manipulated,” effectively changing the result. Hundreds of “No” voters have taken streets since then.
During the voting, some citizens cast their votes in unstamped ballots while some citizens used envelopes and ballots they brought with them, which prompted some opposition parties and naysayers to raise suspicions about the votes’ validity.
In a statement on Monday morning, the YSK said the ballot papers and envelopes brought by some citizens from outside were produced by the YSK and they are authentic.
Demonstrations have been held across Turkey to protest the YSK decision to consider the unstamped ballots valid. (SCF with turkeypurge.com) April 22, 2017