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Friday 22 September 2017

Turkish PM warns opposition against street protests

Supporters of the
Supporters of the "No" vote during a protest against the referendum outcome in Istanbul. (AP/Petros Karadjias)

Turkey's prime minister says opposition parties have the right to file objections to the outcome of a recent referendum on expanding presidential powers.

But Binali Yildirim warned that calling for street protests was unacceptable.

Mr Yildirim also said that the electoral board would rule on the main opposition Republican People's Party's request for the referendum's annulment.

Opposition parties have complained of a series of irregularities, particularly an electoral board decision to accept ballots without official stamps, as required by Turkish law.

Mr Yildirim said the "the path to seek rights" should be limited to legal objections and urged the opposition to accept the vote's outcome.

Thousands have protested in Istanbul and Ankara since Sunday's referendum, which has set into motion the transformation of Turkey's system of government from a parliamentary into a presidential one.

"Calling people to the street is wrong and is outside the line of legitimacy," Mr Yildirim said, adding that "we expect the main opposition party's leader to act more responsibly".

Unofficial results show a narrow win for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's "Yes" campaign, which won 51.4% of the vote.

"The main opposition party not recognising the results is not an acceptable thing," Mr Yildirim said.

Electoral board head Sadi Guven said the objections would be evaluated later on Wednesday.

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