Turkey arrests dozens of protesters in overnight raids

Dozens of members of Turkey’s political opposition took to the streets in protest Tuesday night following the country’s referendum vote over the weekend granting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expanded executive power. In response, authorities arrested at least 38 protesters in early Wednesday raids in Istanbul, The New York Times reports, marking the first political arrests since Sunday’s referendum.

Political arrests in Turkey are nothing new, the Times notes, with tens of thousands of individuals detained in the last few months alone. Wednesday’s arrests affected mostly people who “attended the protests after the referendum and raised their voice against the referendum result on social media,” said Deniz Demirdogen, a lawyer for one of the detainees.

Erdogan claimed a slim victory in Sunday’s referendum vote, winning 51 percent to the opposition’s 48 percent. Protesters assert the vote was rigged, and critics also note Erdogan’s government held the vote during a state of emergency, which was declared last July after a failed coup against the president. Read more at The New York Times.

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