Economy

Trump congratulates Turkish president on win as State Department questions vote results

Trump congratulates Turkish president on win as State Department questions vote results

"The tight referendum result shows how deeply divided Turkish society is and that means a big responsibility for the Turkish leadership and for President Erdogan personally", Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said in a joint statement, calling for a "respectful dialogue" in Ankara with the opposition and all parts of Turkish society.

Turkey's top electoral board will consider objections Wednesday to the way the country's referendum was run, according to Turkey's semi-official Anadolu news agency.

The main opposition Republican People's Party and the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party said they would challenge the results from most ballot boxes due to alleged violations.

Erdogan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) claim the poll resulted in a 51.41% victory for those saying the country should switch away from a parliamentary system in favour of an executive presidency.

To the dismay of opposition parties and "No" supporters, the YSK made a last-minute decision on Sunday to accept ballot documents in envelopes without an official stamp.

The controversy has stoked further political tensions over the rule of Erdogan, who has dominated Turkey since becoming premier in 2003 then president in 2014.

Bulent Tezcan, CHP deputy leader, told CNN-Turk the YSK's decision to reject the petitions sparked a "serious legitimacy crisis".

"Efforts to cast a shadow on the result of the vote by spreading rumours of fraud are futile and in vain", Yildirim said.

Though tens of thousands of people have been detained for political reasons in Turkey in recent months, these are the first political arrests reported since the referendum. Opposition parties have complained of a series of irregularities, particularly an electoral board decision to accept ballots without official stamps, as required by Turkish law.

Turkish media said Putin and Erdogan emphasized the importance of normalizing ties and maintaining a cease-fire in Syria that was jointly brokered by Ankara and Moscow earlier this year.

AFP also said that showing no sign of pulling his punches, Erdogan said Turkey could hold further referendums on its European Union bid and re-introducing the death penalty. We will employ all legal ways available.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last week that he would sign the death penalty into law if it is approved by parliament, or in another referendum.

The referendum has also caused new friction in Turkey's relationship with the European Union, which it has long sought to join but which gave the "Yes" victory the most lukewarm welcome.

The brief statement - issued on Monday evening - underlines the USA need for Turkey's support for the Trump administration's new policy of increasing pressure on the Syrian government, as there's only one reference to the April 16 referendum in Turkey and three to the crisis in Syria.

Turkey hopes ties with the Trump administration will improve after relations soured between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies during Barack Obama's term over Syria and Turkey's calls for US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen to be extradited.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Erdogan and Trump would meet in person next month, before a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit.


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