Ankara Claims to Have ‘Won Kurdish Confidence’ in Referendum

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has gained the support of Kurds, claimed the president’s spokesperson on Wednesday, citing increased support from Kurdish voters in the recent referendum over the last election.

“By making a very clear distinction between the Kurds and the PKK, President Erdogan and the government have won the Kurdish confidence again,” said Ibrahim Kalin.

He noted that in Mus province, 50.8 percent of voters supported the constitutional amendments that gave unprecedented power to Erdogan, more than doubling the 24.8 percent the ruling AKP received in the 2015 general election.

Similar results were found in Diyarbakir, Siirt, Van, and Mardin, Kalin added.

In all four of those provinces, the majority of voters rejected the constitutional amendments, voting ‘No’ in the referendum.

The opposition CHP and pro-Kurdish HDP have both rejected the referendum result, citing grave errors in the conduct of the referendum and the Supreme Election Board (YSK).

On Wednesday, the YSK rejected their requests, and that of the Patriotic Party, to annul the results. Ten of eleven board members rejected the appeals, Anadolu Agency reported, citing a YSK statement.

 

The referendum took place while the country is under a state of emergency following an attempted coup last summer. And in Kurdish areas in the southeast, nearly two years of renewed Turkey-PKK conflict has led to mass displacement and widespread destruction.

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