Trump Congratulates Erdogan after Narrow Referendum 'Victory'

Nick Mcbride
April 21, 2017

"If the global community, including the European Union and USA, as well as the remaining half of the public question the referendum's legitimacy and pressure Erdogan, he can call an early election while opposition parties are weakened".

ANKARA, Turkey - 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, but the main opposition party formally requested to have the vote voided.

According to the spokesperson for the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, the call came after Turkey rejected worldwide observers' criticism of the referendum on Sunday. The main opposition party has launched an appeal to invalidate the result.

Turkey's new political system is due to come into effect after elections in November 2019.

While those who voted "Yes" on Sunday may trust Erdogan with such powers - saying that it is necessary to stabilise the country and secure it from political and economic turmoil leading to insecurity - would they be equally as comfortable with a CHP president at the helm?

Global observers on Monday echoed some of the opposition concerns, enraging Erdogan.

In a statement released on his official website, Hunko said that the PKK is not considered to be a terrorist group by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

He said the Supreme Election Board decided not to deem ballot papers without official seals invalid, paving the way for electoral fraud.

Speaking with USA Today, the University of Cambridge's Banu Turnaoglu said the election results show that in Turkey, "there's a very narrow understanding of democracy, because they supported these previous measures of authoritarianism". The Turkish Bar Association described the move as "illegal".

Both sides also emphasized the importance of an "unpartisan" investigation into the suspected chemical attack in Syria earlier this month, the Kremlin said. She offered no evidence. "We won't see or hear the politically motivated reports you prepared".

The referendum approves 18 constitutional amendments that allow the president to appoint ministers, senior government officials and to hold sway over who sits in Turkey's highest judicial body, as well as to issue decrees and declare states of emergency.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said that bringing back the death penalty would be "synonymous with the end of the European dream".

One trade-off for that deal with Turkey, in which it acts as a buffer, has been the promise of giving 75 million Turks the right to enter the EU's Schengen area without a visa.

Donald Trump will host Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on May 16-17 at the White House, in the first meeting between the two leaders.

In turn, the European Commission has called on Turkey to launch a transparent investigation into the election irregularities.

European Union foreign ministers will meet on April 28 in Malta to discuss the next steps.

Other reports by VgToday

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