April 19, 2017
The Pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) officially filed an appeal to the Supreme Election Board (YSK) against the results of Turkey’s referendum. The HDP described the process of the voting as illegal and taking place under “violations” and “conditions were unequal.” The deputy from Mithat Sancar said:” The conditions were unequal. There were many violations”.
In the appeal, the HDP called upon the YSK to cancel the referendum results. The HDP lawmaker Sancar said YKS’s approving unseal ballots makes the referendum illegal. The HDP accused the government of rigging the elections while both of the HDP Co-chairs are jailed.
Prior to HDP’s appeal the on April 17, the International Election Observers criticized Turkey’s referendum. “Lack of equal opportunities, one-sided media coverage, and limitations on fundamental freedoms created an unleveled playing field in Turkey’s constitutional referendum,” said the International Referendum Observation Mission. Activists published videos on social media of “fraud voting.”
Protests took place in Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir to object the results. The protestors accused the Turkish government of rigging the voting. In the recent days, protests continued in Bishktash district in Istanbul.
Despite HDP’s rejection against the July 15, 2016, coup attempt against Turkey’s President Rajab Tayep Erdogan, the Turkish government jailed hundreds of Kurdish elected officials. 13 Pro-Kurdish HDP lawmakers remain jailed including both of HDP Co-chairs. In July of 2015, the Turkish government ended the peace process with Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), resulting in a half million Internally Displaced People (IDP) mainly from the Kurdish areas due to ongoing military campaigns. The Turkish government also detained 2000 members of the HDP in operation known as Turkey’s Purge.