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Trump Congratulates President Erdogan on Turkish Referendum Victory

Trump Congratulates President Erdogan on Turkish Referendum Victory

"Saying the referendum fell below worldwide standards is unacceptable", the ministry said in a statement, adding that previous "politically charged" comments from OSCE monitors showed the team arrived in Turkey with prejudice and disregarded principles of objectivity and impartiality.

(AP Photo/Cansu Alkaya). Supporters of pro-'no' vote chant slogans as they protest in Istanbul, against the referendum outcome, early Monday, April 17, 2017. Worldwide monitors for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe reported a series of irregularities, including more than a million ballots cast without the particular stamp that marks them as official.

The recent referendum marked the first time Erdogan has lost the majority of a vote in Istanbul, Turkey's largest city, and Ankara, its capital.

Trump made the phone call despite questions posed by European leaders and his own State Department over "observed irregularities" as to how the referendum vote was carried out-particularly the High Board of Elections' decision to accept ballot papers that did not bear the official government stamp-and what the outcome means for democracy in Turkey.

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - Turkey's prime minister on Tuesday called on the opposition to respect the result of a referendum that will give sweeping new powers to the office of the president.

Sources within Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government have stated that the US president congratulated Erdogan on his narrow victory, which greatly expands his presidential powers.

The "Yes" camp won 51.41 per cent in Sunday's referendum, according to complete results released by the election authorities. Two other opposition parties' requests were also rejected.

Before the electoral board's announcement, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the opposition had the right to file objections, but warned that calling for street protests was unacceptable.

However, opposition parties said the exercise was marred by irregularities, adding that they would challenge its result.

A prosecutor will now consider whether to press charges against Guven.

The changes, most of which are due to come into force after November 2019, are some of the most far-reaching in Turkey since Mustafa Kemal Ataturk established the modern state in the ashes of the Ottoman Empire in 1923.

Monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, who also listed numerous irregularities, said the board's move undermined important election safeguards. "We will follow closely how Turkey behaves on this".

Erdogan, whose narrow victory laid bare the nation's divisions, told flag-waving supporters that foreign election observers should "know their place" and Turkey did not "see, hear or acknowledge" criticism that the vote did not live up to global standards.

"That the Turkish leadership didn't like the criticism by the OSCE's election observer mission isn't a surprise to anyone", German Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said.

In contrast with European leaders, US President Donald Trump has congratulated the Turkish president, hours after the US state department mentioned concerns by worldwide observers and urged Turkey to respect the rights of its citizens - chiming with sentiment in European capitals.


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