Social media battle lines drawn ahead of Turkish vote

By Ercan Gurses and Ayhan Uyanik ANKARA/ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Campaigning has not officially started, but a string of video "selfies" by the likes of sports stars, actors and cabinet ministers has already launched a divisive debate on plans that would hand Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan sweeping new powers. In a country where mainstream news channels are saturated by Erdogan's appearances and speeches by government ministers, and where political demonstrations are tightly restricted, the battle for votes is increasingly being waged online. "Unfortunately the 'No' supporters don't have much opportunity to get their message across on television channels or other media," said actor Baris Atay, who was castigated by pro-government newspapers for a social media video in which he says "no to one-man rule, fascism and dictatorship".

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