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Urban Turks divided on referendum result

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By Robert Hackwill
Urban Turks divided on referendum result

Reactions from ordinary people in two of Turkey’s biggest cities, Ankara and Istanbul, which voted “no” in the referendum, have been mixed.

Many people have heard the accusations of vote rigging, and some say that they have witnessed it, with a few posting video on Twitter, for example.

Ordinary people’s postings appeared to gain some credibility with this video, posted by an official election observer

“I don’t think this result is enough to give President Erdogan new powers because the statistic result of the referendum is 50/50. It’s obvious that a broad part of the society do not accept this referendum,” said one man in Istanbul.

Other people were shocked at last-minute procedural changes to the vote demanded by the governing party, and accepted by the electoral commission. The changes made fraud easier.

“I believe our votes were stolen. I think the Electoral Board’s decision to count unstamped yes votes as valid upon AK Party’s request is a big scandal. We all remained silent in the face of this, so I particularly call for the opposition Republican People’s Party, (CHP), leader to resign,” said one woman from Ankara.

Although the “no” vote won in the capital, the margin was narrow.

“I don’t know what the new system will bring but I am happy because the person I support has become an executive president. Therefore I am happy. I hope the new system will be good,” said one young woman.

Erdogan has already expressed his delight at the wisdom of the peoples’ choice, and has said he will trust it again, perhaps in a future referendum on restoring the death penalty.