10 Days Remaining

Friday 21st
posted by James Tweedie in World

TURKISH police raided the office of a trade union website yesterday and arrested its editor for disputing Sunday’s constitutional referendum result.

Labour web portal editor Ali Ergin Demirhan was arrested in the dawn raid and his mobile phone and computer hard drive were seized as evidence.

During the search of the office, Mr Demirhan managed to tweet that he was being detained for the crime of “depicting the Yes side as illegitimate.”

He was later charged with “organising protests on social media while attempting to depict the results of the referendum as illegitimate” and “inciting people to enmity and insulting a public servant on the basis of his position.”

Sendika reported that 38 people were arrested on Wednesday for questioning the legitimacy of the plebiscite to radically expand the powers of the currently ceremonial presidency.

Late on Wednesday, the Supreme Electoral Council rejected a petition filed by opposition parties calling for the result — a narrow 51.4 per cent win for the Yes campaign — to be annulled.

The council allowed ballots lacking the official stamp to be counted, while photos circulated on social media showed No ballots dumped in rubbish bins.

The main Kemalist opposition Republican People’s Party said it would boycott parliament over the apparent vote-rigging.

Some 2,000 people protested in Istanbul on Wednesday evening.

Earlier that day, the Istanbul Bar Association filed a criminal complaint against electoral council head Sadi Guven for “wrongful conduct” and “altering the result of the election.”

A prosecutor will now consider whether to press charges against Mr Guven.