Turkey’s President Declares Victory, As Dissenters Cry Foul

Turkey's three biggest cities voted no on expanding president's powers

Voters react after first news bulletins on the outcome of Turkey's referendum. — REUTERS
Apr 16, 2017 at 5:36 PM ET

The Turkish referendum dramatically expanding President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s powers was approved by a small margin of the country’s population on Sunday, but not without loud dissent.

Residents of Turkey’s three biggest cities — Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir — all voted against the referendum that would potentially allow for President Erdogan to remain in office until 2029, along with vastly growing the authorities afforded to him. 51.3 percent of Istanbul, 68.7 percent of Izmir, and 51.1 percent of Ankara voted against the referendum. Now, many of those city-dwellers are upset that the country’s rural areas and small cities determined the election results, and the future of their country.


Translation: Istanbul, Izmir, Ankara says no but all the system will change because Bayburt (a small city in northeast Turkey) said yes.

Translation: The future of Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir is determined by Bayburt, Yozgat, Erzurum and Konya. Look at the tragedy.

Translation: Erdogan should be president at the cities voted in favor of him. He shouldn’t be a president of other cities such as Adana, Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Mersin, Antalya.

At the same time, complaints against the country’s Supreme Election Council began trending on Twitter, as reports stated that the council allowed for unstamped ballot envelopes to be counted, contravening the country’s electoral rules. Opposition parties demanded a recount of those votes, which accepted ballot papers without an official stamp, as valid. In prior votes, those ballots were considered invalid.

Regular citizens of Turkey were outraged as well, expressing their anger at the Supreme Election Council online.

Translation: YSK (Supreme Election Council) is committing a crime at the moment. This would ruin all Turkey. Don’t do this. Don’t be afraid of the citizens.


Translation: According to the laws, if there are no stamps on the envelope, votes are not valid. However tonight YSK did the exact opposite. This is definitely illegal.

Translation: In this country we have official stamps for every single document. How come YSK accepts the votes without official stamps?

CNN’s Turkish affiliate reported that the country’s main opposition parties, CHP, would challenge 37 percent of the ballot’s submitted.