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Turkish PM Yıldırım invites citizens abroad to vote at referendum, breaking Turkish laws

Turkish prime minister Binali Yıldırım sent a letter to 2.92 million Turkish voters live abroad, calling them to vote.  In the letter, Yıldırım invited Turkish voters to participate in the upcoming referendum.

In his letter instead of directly asking people to vote yes on the upcoming referendum, Binali Yıldırım used a positive language “We are going to give an important decision for our country. If we can change the constitution, there will be more freedom, more prosperity in Turkey and we will become a more democratic country” Yildirim said in the letter.

After European authorities refused to let the Turkish ministers address Turkish expatriates before the upcoming referendum, this time Turkish prime minister sent propaganda letters to Turkish people live abroad. However under Turkish law, campaigning abroad is illegal. In 2008 the AKP government banned “all forms of propaganda” abroad. Thus prime minister’s attempt to reach people via letters is unlawful.  While Yildirim’s act is illegal, there will be no consequences for him because the YSK (Supreme Election Board) has no authority to enforce the ban. 

Mustafa Öz

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