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Referendum Said 'Yes' To Fighting Terror: Turkish PM


Yes vote affirmed Turkey's determined war on terrorism and boosting nation's unity and solidarity, says Binali Yildirim

Sunday's historic constitutional referendum was the nation saying 'Yes' to Turkey's ongoing fight against terror organizations, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Wednesday.

"Turkey is in the midst of struggle for union and survival. The message the people gave us on Sunday is to keep fighting terrorism and raise the unity and solidarity of the nation," the premier told the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party’s Central Executive Board (MYK) in Ankara.

Turkish voters went to the polls on Sunday to decide whether to approve changes to the country’s constitution that would usher in an executive presidency.

According to unofficial results, the Yes campaign won with 51.41 percent, while the No votes stood at 48.59 percent. Voter turnout was 85.46 percent.

"The significant increase in the number of Yes votes from eastern and southeastern Anatolia has made it clear that the region is not heeding the terrorist calls in the region," Yildirim said, referring to the terrorist PKK group.

"This [anti-terror] struggle will go on without any hesitation," he said.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU. During its over 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, more than 40,000 people have lost their lives.

Since the group resumed its armed campaign in July 2015, more than 1,200 people, including security personnel and civilians, have been killed.

 

- The nation's will

The premier also slammed main opposition Republican's People Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu for urging people to take to the streets to protest the referendum results.

"Calling people to the streets by using various communication channels and refusing to recognize the results is never acceptable.

"It is useless to [try to] cast a shadow over the referendum results instead of respecting the nation's will," Yildirim said.

Earlier the CHP leader argued that Turkey’s Supreme Board of Elections (YSK) had not done its duty during the referendum and submitted a petition to annul the poll.

Kilicdaroglu said he respected the nation's will but criticized the board’s decision to allow unsealed ballots.

Rebuffing Kilicdaroglu, Sadi Guven, head of the electoral board, said the ballots ruling was made unanimously and before voting results were transferred to the counting system.

Yildirim said that what the CHP must do now is wait for the result of their objection against the referendum.

"Any contrary move would be illegitimate. Turkey is a state of law," Yildirim added.

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