Election protests in Turkey as opposition cries foul
Tuesday, April 01, 2014 - 00:49
April 1 - Riot police use water cannon to disperse thousands of protesters outside the Supreme Electoral Council in Ankara demonstrating against local poll results. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
Riot police fired water cannon in Ankara on Tuesday (April 1) to disperse thousands of Turks demanding a partial recount in national polls that saw Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's ruling party sweep the electoral map.
The Islamist-rooted AK Party kept control of the two biggest cities, the financial centre Istanbul and the capital Ankara, and increased its share of the national vote in Sunday's (March 30) municipal elections despite a corruption scandal dogging Erdogan's government.
The opposition said it would contest some of the results.
The crowd, calling for a recount of the Ankara result which was particularly close, gathered in front of the Supreme Electoral Council (YSK) chanting "Thief Tayyip!" and "YSK, the people are with you!" before the riot police moved in and sprayed water cannon to disperse them.
No official results have yet been announced, but the tally published by Turkish media put the AK Party on around 44 percent of the nationwide vote to 26-28 percent for the opposition CHP.
The election in NATO's only predominantly Muslim state took place amid a fierce power struggle between Erdogan and U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom he accuses of pursuing a dirty campaign of anonymous postings of audio recordings that implicate the prime minister in graft.
Erdogan denies corruption, just as Gulen denies any role in the recordings obtained from secret government communications.
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