More voices are being added to the criticisms of Turkey’s presidential powers referendum.
Abroad the official reaction has been a mixture of appeals for caution to endorsements of Turkey’s sovereignty over its own affairs. Within Turkey itself there is no shortage of voices urging caution. Many campaigned for a “No” vote.
“It wasn´t a democratic election process and not a democratic vote-counting. The law says very clearly: envelopes without stamps of the polling committee are not valid. The Supreme Electoral Council even prepared educational videos just for that. So they made their decision and then they accepted envelopes without those stamps,” says Coordinator for human rights group AMER# Nejat Tastan.
Few might bet against President Erdogan riding out the criticism to cement his win, but there may be trouble ahead for his AK party.
“For the first time, practically since 1994, the AKP is losing ground in big cities against the opposition. Of course it was not a parliamentary election, so we cannot say that one party gained that many votes.
It may be a conjunctural situation or maybe a new era, a new period is starting. We don´t know yet. It will take some time to see,” says Emre Gönen, Political Scientist at Bilgi University, Istanbul.
No-one is yet talking about overreach, but any persistent doubts about the validity of the vote, or loss of electoral support may give the AKP food for thought.