Deputy: CHP member shot during referendum campaign

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CHP Deputy Barış Yarkadaş

M.D., a member of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) youth branch was shot on Thursday night in İstanbul while campaigning against a constitutional package that will significantly expand the power of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Sharing the information in a series of tweets on Friday, CHP deputy Barış Yarkadaş said M.D., who was putting up banners for the “No” campaign ahead of a referendum likely to be held in April, was shot in the stomach when their car was attacked by an armed gang in the Maltepe district of İstanbul.

Noting that the CHP member is in the hospital, Yarkadaş said a group of people was terrorizing the streets to prevent CHP members from conducting their campaign.

“We will be following to see if Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş and Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu take measures against those thugs in İstanbul,” said Yarkadaş in his Twitter message, calling on people to be careful about provocations.

A Turkish gang leader, Sedat Peker, on Friday declared his support for the transition to an executive presidency in Turkey while threatening those who are against holding a referendum to vote on the change in the country’s system of governance.

In a social media message, Peker, who is a vocal supporter of President Erdoğan, vowed to vote “yes” for the changes to the constitution and said, “We will be waiting on the streets for those who take to the streets to prevent the referendum, just as we took to the streets on the night of the July 15 coup attempt.”

Peker praised a prominent social media troll, Taha Ün, who is known for bullying and targeting critics of the regime. Ün’s wife is a close aide to Erdoğan’s wife. Peker and President Erdoğan had attended the couple’s wedding, which was considered open support for government trolls on social media.

Gang leader Peker, who has been convicted of several crimes, had also threatened academics who signed a petition calling for peace in 2015. Peker had said he wanted to take a shower in the bloodbath of the academics.

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