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'Thief, murderer, Erdogan' - hundreds in Istanbul protest vote result

Europe
17.04.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Istanbul (dpa) - Hundreds of people took to the streets of Istanbul to protest the result of a controversial referendum to introduce a presidential system, in which the "yes" camp won by a slim margin.

About 2,000 protesters gathered in the neighbourhood of Besiktas in the centre of Istanbul, as witnessed by a dpa reporter. They chanted: "Thief, murderer, Erdogan." Others banged pots in protest. There were no initial reports of clashes with police.

In Kadikoy, a neighbourhood on the Asian side of the city, thousands of demonstrators gathered, according to reports. They waved posters referring to the victory of the "yes" camp, which read: "The ‘no‘ is not over, it is just starting."

In its call for the demonstration, the group Hayir Besiktas said: "We are against fraud, injustice and stolen votes."

Government critics were also protesting in other parts of Istanbul, in the capital Ankara and in the western city of Izmir.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan mocked the demonstrators in a speech Monday in front of the presidential palace in Ankara.

While the referendum result had made people happy and satisfied, there were others who were disappointed, he said. "As I can see, those have emerged again with their pots and pans."

Referring to the 2013 protests that rocked Istanbul, the president said, "They are Gezi people. They are the ones with the pots and pans."

In 2013, a controversial plan to construct an Ottoman-era military barracks housing a shopping mall in Istanbul‘s Gezi Park sparked nationwide protests against the Turkish government when Erdogan was prime minister.

 

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