Turkey's Nationalist Movement Party: We Fulfilled our Promise in Referendum
President Trump phoned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to congratulate him on winning a referendum that will grant the foreign leader broader powers, Erdoğan's office and the White House said Monday. President Barack Obama initially viewed Erdogan as a possible model for a new generation of Muslim leaders and traveled to Turkey early in his first year in office.
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) charged there was "an unlevel playing field", noting that the media environment heavily favoured the government, and the state made no effort to provide voters with unbiased information on the content of the vote.
Returning in triumph to his presidential palace in Ankara, Erdogan addressed thousands of supporters gathered outside, telling monitors who criticised the poll, "Know your place", The Guardian reports. Opponents accuse him of leading a drive towards dictatorship.
Both Germany and France expressed concern about possible election irregularities and called on Erdogan to engage in dialogue with the opposition.
The balloting was held under a state of emergency that's been in place since a failed coup last July, and is in the process of being extended for three more months.
Meanwhile, Turkey's foreign ministry has rejected global monitors' findings on its referendum, saying it was "saddened" by what it called "politically-motivated and accusatory" statements. Schinas said that such caution was needed not only because of the observers' report but also because of the closeness of the result and what he called the "far-reaching" implications of the constitutional amendments.
Asked if he felt United States and Turkey could work together, Erdogan said: "The way President Trump is approaching these matters makes us happy".
Global observers monitoring the Turkish referendum concluded in a preliminary report on Monday that the campaign and vote took place in a political environment where the "fundamental freedoms essential to a genuinely democratic process were curtailed".
The main opposition party has urged the Turkey's electoral board to cancel the results citing substantial voting irregularities.
"This is why the only decision that will end debate about the legitimacy (of the vote) and ease the people's legal concerns is the annulment of this election", deputy party chairman Bulent Tezcan said.
Although the margin fell short of the sweeping victory Mr Erdogan had sought in the landmark referendum, it could nevertheless cement his hold on power in Turkey.
"These complaints are to be taken very seriously and they are, in any case, of such an extent that they would turn around the outcome of the vote", said Korun, who is a member of Austria's parliament. Opposition parties also pointed out that the electoral commission had accepted ballots without official stamps on them, which may easily allow for fraud. But Mr Erdogan has taken his authoritarian bent to an extreme, imposing the state of emergency and purging the opposition, academia and the army after a failed coup past year.
Under the changes, most of which will only come into effect after the next elections, due in 2019, the president will appoint the cabinet and an undefined number of vice-presidents, and will be able to select and remove senior civil servants without parliamentary approval.
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