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Critical news portal editor detained due to stance on referendum

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One of the editors at the critical news website sendika.org, Ali Ergin Demirhan, was detained on Thursday morning due to his stance on a referendum held in Turkey on Sunday.

Police teams raided the offices of the website early on Thursday and seized the hard disk of Demirhan’s computer as well as his mobile phone.

The editor was detained on charges of not showing the results of the public referendum as legitimate, organizing protests on social media and inciting hatred and enmity among the public as well as insulting a public official.

On Wednesday, Turkish police also detained 38 other people who took part in demonstrations held in protest of the referendum results.

A constitutional reform package introducing an executive presidency in Turkey was approved by 51.4 percent of the electorate in Sunday’s referendum.

During the voting, some citizens cast their votes in unstamped ballots, while others used envelopes and ballots they brought with them, which prompted some opposition parties and naysayers to raise suspicions about the validity of the votes.

In a statement on Monday morning, Turkey’s election authority, the Supreme Board of Election (YSK),  said the ballot papers and envelopes brought by some citizens from outside were produced by the YSK and were authentic.

Demonstrations have been held across Turkey to protest the YSK decision to consider the unstamped ballots valid.

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