Naysayers stage protests in Istanbul, İzmir
ISTANBULResidents in several Istanbul neighborhoods staged protests late on April 16 against a dispute over vote counting at the constitutional referendum earlier in the same day.
Protesters were particularly incensed after the Supreme Electoral Board (YSK) abruptly decided halfway through voting day to accept unsealed ballot papers as valid.
Residents in Istanbul protested in at least four districts, including Beşiktaş, Kadıköy, Şişli and Sarıyer, all of which heavily voted “no.”
In Beşiktaş, more than 300 protesters brought traffic on a main street to a standstill, chanting and holding aloft a banner that said “No! We won.”
Some locals also banged pots and pans from their windows.
In Kadıköy, at least 300 people chanted as they marched on Altıyol Square. The group also banged pots and pans and made a call on citizens to “protect your vote.”
Security forces tightened their measures, preventing a group of “yes” voters from entering Istanbul’s Taksim Square.
Police closed traffic in the square for a couple of hours.
At least 150 people gathered in front of the YSK building in Ankara to protest the organization, with riot police closing all avenues and roads leading to the building. Protesters chanted slogans in front of the building and sang the Turkish National Anthem. The group later dispersed without incident.
In the Aegean province of İzmir, police dispersed a group of protesters with tear gas in the wake of the referendum result, detaining four people.