Turkish President insists constitutional reforms don't make him 'dictator'

Nick Mcbride
April 21, 2017

Ankara- Turkey's Supreme Election Board rejected on Wednesday all opposition objections to the results of last Sunday's constitutional referendum, which was passed by 51.4 percent of Turkish voters to officially transfer the country into a presidential regime.

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.

Protests broke out across Turkey as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a European observer mission to "know your place" after they criticised Sunday's constitutional referendum, according to Middle East Eye. He added that "we expect the main opposition party's leader to act more responsibly".

"President Trump spoke today with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to congratulate him on his recent referendum victory", says the White House readout of the two leaders" call Monday.

The main opposition party has demanded the result be nullified, saying the voting was marred by irregularities.

Monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, who also listed numerous irregularities, said the move undermined important election safeguards, drawing a harsh rebuke from Erdogan.

A brief readout of Monday's (17 April) phone call, released by the White House, did not say whether Trump had raised concerns expressed by global observers monitoring Sunday's referendum over voting irregularities.

A government spokesperson said: "We will follow closely how Turkey behaves on this".

The German government has also questioned the vote after the European Union called for a probe into the result. We will not consider, see, or recognize your political report.

Relations have further soured since Erdogan accused the German and Dutch governments of acting like Nazis after they banned referendum campaign rallies by Turkish officials.

The new system would dispense with the prime minister's post and centralise the entire executive bureaucracy under the president, giving Erdogan the direct power to appoint ministers.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said a critical report by European observers on the referendum contained several mistakes, which he believed were deliberate.

Other reports by VgToday

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