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Villagers threatened with cut in agricultural subsidies if they vote ‘no’ in referendum

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A district governor in the Tutak district of the eastern province of Ağrı has threatened to cut off agricultural subsidies granted to the residents if their villages vote against a constitutional reform package that will be put to a public vote this Sunday, according to pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Dirayet Taşdemir.

Turkey will vote on a constitutional reform package in the referendum which will introduce an executive presidency if approved. The reforms will greatly increase President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s powers while weakening Parliament.

Taşdemir, who submitted a parliamentary question meant for Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, asked him about the claims raised by the villagers of the Tutak district.

According to the villagers, Tutak district governor Erkan İsa blocked the payment of agricultural subsidies to them, and if a “yes” vote does not emerge from the ballot box in those villages, the agricultural subsidies will be completely cut off.

Taşdemir asked Yıldırım whether an investigation has been launched into the claims.

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