Turkey's opposition CHP says will employ all legal ways to appeal referendum

Opposition parties filed formal requests asking the electoral board to void the referendum result over concerns about voting irregularities.

A woman stands as she uses her cell phone at Taksim square in Istanbul, Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

The main target of the legal complaints are directed at the high electoral board for ruling during the referendum that some 1.5 million unstamped ballots and envelopes would be counted as valid.

"The referendum took place under inappropriate conditions and under pressure from the state of emergency", said HDP Spokesperson Osman Baydemir referring to the ongoing martial law that has been imposed in Turkey's Kurdish southeast.

About 2,000 protesters gathered in Istanbul's Besiktas neighborhood on Wednesday evening over the referendum approving constitutional changes sought by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The head of Turkey's Supreme Election Board (YSK) said on Wednesday that the board will evaluate appeals for annulment of constitutional referendum result.

Before the announcement, Prime Minister Binali Yildrim said the opposition had the right to file objections but said that calling for street protests was unacceptable.

Unofficial results show a narrow win for Erdogan's "yes" campaign, which garnered 51.4 percent of the vote.

Opposition parties had called on the electoral board to annul Sunday's referendum, which was narrowly won by the "Yes" camp, because unstamped ballot papers were included in the vote count.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Erdogan and Trump would meet in person next month, before a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit.

The opposition has complained about an unlevel playing field before the referendum and irregularities during the vote, claims echoed by election monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and by the European Union. "From the German government's point of view, Turkey must. clear up the questions that have been raised".

The opposition had based the appeal on the commission's controversial decision - made while voting was still in progress Sunday - to raise the burden needed to prove allegations of ballot-box stuffing.

Kilicdaroglu said he respected the nation's will, but the decision on unsealed ballots had overshadowed the results.

  • Leroy Wright