On April 16, Turkish citizens casted ballots in a referendum asking to give President Recep Tayyip Erdogan more power. After the votes were counted, Erdogan claimed a 51.4 percent to 48.6 percent victory.
However, The New York Times and other news organizations soon reported that unverified videos posted online showed that many people cast several “yes” ballots at a time. Furthermore, some poll workers approved ballots that were unsealed or contained errors and those that were cast after the official deadline had passed.
As a result of the reports, people have called for the referendum results to be invalidated. When the request was denied, many Turkish citizens took their anger to the streets. Some of the protesters have since been arrested, The New York Times reported.
When the validity of a referendum is put into question, more should be done to ensure that votes are counted properly. Erdogan is on a streak of power abuse and last year’s failed coup gained him support.
It is quite likely that even if sanctions are placed on Turkey, Erdogan will simply not care. When nations steer away from democracy, however, world leaders and organizations like the United Nations should do more to protect innocent citizens. Considering the current political climate, it may take a while for any bold moves to happen.