15 suspicious information about #TurkeyReferandum spreading through the internet

We compiled 15 shady news spreading through the Internet about the constitutional referendum to be held on April 16th.

1) It is true that Erdoğan said the presidential system is a result of pretention

CLAIM: In 1993, President Erdoğan said “The presidential system is a result of a pretention or a exhortation of the American imperialism” regarding the presidential system.



The statements about the presidential system next to photo is from an interview he gave when he was a member of Central Resılutions and Executive Board of Welfare Party and the provincial head of his party in Istanbul. The interview was made by Metin Sever and Cem Dizdar, for the book titled “2. Cumhuriyet Tartışmaları” published by Başak Publishing House in 1993.

Click here for detailed analysis.

2) Allegation that “Kuyu says yes to referendum” shown in the news ticker by atv

CLAIM: In atv News, news ticker read “Kuyu (the puppy rescued from a bore hole after 10 days, name means ‘Well’) says yes to referendum”.


(does Kuyu know about this? / Kuyu says yes to referendum)

Atv News did not show such a news ticker. The part of news with Kuyu can be seen in the recording found in atv’s official web site. Despite the image published in social media, the news ticker from the actual program read “Kuyu on air!”

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3) Allegation that a job advert was published in a newspaper for “yes to referendum” campaign

CLAIM: A job advert was published in a newspaper for “yes to referendum” campaign.


The claim from news sites and social media is true. Job advert took place in February 16th, 2017 dated Çukurova-GAP supplement of Hürriyet, which is distributed in 23 cities.

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4) Allegation of “Send Nude” banner in AK Party’s event for referendum campaign

CLAIM: A banner reading “Send Nude” was shown in an AK Party event for referendum campaign.


The photo was taken from TRT Haber’s (National state TV of Turkey) live broadcasting of the event. Photo was shared and spread through social media in a short time. From the photo, it seems that different letters were brought together to write “Send nude”.

However, people from the actual event were carrying banners bearing letters of the name “Menderes” (the last name of founder of Democrat Party). At 12:16, TRT Haber’s live boardcast of the event show the original banner. The record with the original banner can be found here.

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5) Allegation that in 1998, Kılıçdaroğlu said “Presidential system is a must for this country”

CLAIM / Photo: In 1998, while he was the President of Social Insurance Institution, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said “Presidential system is a must for this country”.


From the newspaper clipping shared in social media, the words “Government structure of Turkey, which does not comply with the law and the Constitution” can be seen.

A search conducted using the statements from the newspaper clipping brings Yıldıray Çiçek’s column from October 26th, 2016 dated Ortadoğu Newspaper. The column from the actual newspaper has President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s statement regarding presidential system, saying “The presidential system is a result of pretention or a exhortation of the American imperialism“.

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6) The allegation that in 1997, Fethullah Gülen said he looked positively towards presidential system

CLAIM: In an interview with Zaman daily in 1997, Fethullah Gülen said “I look positively towards both presidential system and a presidency with increased powers”.


Gülen’s comments on the presidential system were included in the story titled “Call for Common Sense” which was published in March 30th, 1997 dated Zaman daily. Gülen’s statement that he looked positively towards presidential system can be seen in the scanned version of March 30th, 1997 dated Zaman daily.

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7) Allegation that after the referendum, AK Party will pay 25 TL to people who send an SMS saying “Yes” to the line numbered 3406.

CLAIM / Photo: An SMS from AK Party, saying “You must send an SMS to 3406 to vote Yes for referendum”.


3406 is a line used for donations to LÖSEV (The Foundation for Children with Leukemia). To support LÖSEV’s “Lay a Brick” campaign, people can send an SMS saying “TUGLA” to 3406. The thank you message from LÖSEV after this SMS is sent, states that sender’s donation is worth 2 SMS’s.

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8) Allegation that a group of people wrote “Hıyar (meaning cucumber, sometimes used as an insult)” instead of “Hayır (no)” in their t-shirts for the referendum campaign

CLAIM / Photo: A group of people campaigning for No to Referendum wrote “Hıyar” instead of “Hayır” in their t-shirts.


When compared to the original photo from other posts in social media, it is possible to say that the photo shared by Gökçek is montaged. If we look carefully at the orange suit of the person carrying the letter A, and pants of the person carrying the letter I, it can be seen that parts above the legs were swapped.

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9) Allegation that ballots affixed with “Yes to AKP” were caught in İzmir, Çınarlı

CLAIM: A vehicle carrying ballots affixed with Yes for AKP was caught in İzmir, Çınarlı.


The news from Ege’nin Sesi news site is not true. June 12th, 2011 dated story from Doğan News Agency (DHA) based on statements of law enforcement authorities, it is explained that the situation has nothing to do with AK Party, and followed:

İzmir Police Department authorities states that the situation took place around 17:00 yesterday, and it has nothing to do with AK Party. It is said that this car was noticed and pulled over in Altındağ. After the investigation, authorities stated that, M. A. who is an observer for independent candidates supported by BDP, was carrying around 500 sample ballots with “sample” remark on, in order to inform voters from suburbs and supporting their own candidate. Since campaign silence has not started yet, after meeting with the district attorney, M. A. was released without any legal action. Also, it is mentioned that almost 5 people acting with the same purpose at various schools were taken into custody by the police.

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10) Allegations of “Yes to Referendum” banner from HDP

CLAIM / Photo: HDP hung “Say Yes to Great Humanity” banners for referendum.


HDP’s “Say Yes to Great Humanity” banners are from the campaign for general elections held on June 7th, 2015.

11) Allegation that CHP Deputy Öztürk Yılmaz said “No”, standing before the U.S. Flag

CLAIM: A CHP Deputy said “No” before the U.S. flag.


It was claimed that there was a U.S. flag just behind the platform in the photo taken during Yılmaz’s speech. However the image with the U.S. flag is a montage.

Click here for detailed analysis.

12) Allegation that the new Constitution makes fasting mandatory

CLAIM: With the New Constitution, people who do not fast can be expatriated.


Contrary to the the claim and the shared image, 6771 numbered Law on Amending the Constitution of Republic of Turkey which will be voted on April 16th, does not include any amendments on Article 24 of the Constitution.

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13) Allegation that in case the “Choice” seal is affixed on the word “Hayır (No)”, the vote will be deemed invalid.

CLAIM: In case the “Choice” seal is affixed on the word “Hayır (no)” on the ballot, the vote will be deemed invalid.


(Please be careful when voting and warn the people around you. As seen in the sample ballot, affix the Choice seal not on the “Hayır” word, but on the space below the word, so that it can be read clearly. / Seal affixed incorrectly / Invalid vote – Seal affixed correctly – Valid vote / We wish the referendum brings good to our country and our people)

The claim is not true. Supreme Election Council issued a notice on February 14th, 2017 regarding votes to be deemed invalid in the referendum. “Invalid Ballots” titled Article 43 of “135/1 Numbered Notice of Forming Ballot Box Boards, Their Duties and Power in the Constitutional Referendum” states the situations on which a ballot shall be deemed invalid.

The Notice does not count affixing the “Choice” seal on the writings on the ballot among the situations requiring the vote to be deemed invalid.

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14) Allegation that official reports to be used by ballot box boards were amended unlawfully

CLAIM: Some parts of official reports to be used by ballot box boards, such as numbers of empty envelopes and ballots, and total number of voters, were taken out. These numbers will not be recorded, this is against the law, CHP opposed to this change.


(Hi, I am in a training for observers, there are very important changes. These changes are against the law, and someone should write about it. It is said that CHP is pushing for correction.

1. The part where the number of empty envelopes and ballots received by the President of Ballot Box Board and counted during morning preparations was taken out,

2.The part stating the number of voters who are a member of the ballot box board or assigned law enforcement agency (eg with document no 142) vote in that ballot box even though they are not in the list of voters was taken out from the official report,

3.The part where the reason for deeming invalid or not taking into consideration for invalid envelopes and ballots, envelopes and ballots not taken into consideration was taken out,

4.Number of voters participating in the referendum will be written on the official report, but the part where number of envelopes coming out of the ballot box and number of ballots coming out of envelopes is taken out.

As we have experienced in previous elections, it is very important that above mentioned numbers should be recorded with an official report, so that the election and counting is fair.


The allegation that the official reports to be used in Referendum to be held on April 16th does not contain some information which were included in official reports used in previous elections is true. However, the claim that taken out these information is unlawful, and that CHP is opposing to these changes is not true. Also, the claim that these numbers will not be recorded is not true.

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15) Allegation of a video of the crowd of voters living outside of Turkey

CLAIM/ Video: The crowd in the last day of voting for citizens living outside of Turkey.


The claim that the place shown in the first 35 seconds of Hürriyet’s video broadcast with a news ticker saying “The crowd in the last day of voting for citizens living outside of Turkey” shows the crowd of citizens voting abroad is not true. The video is from commemoration on April 9th, for people who were killed in the terrorist attack on April 7th in Stockholm.

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Translation: Emek Akman