Thursday, 27 April, 2017

Turkish opposition urges board to cancel referendum result

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan waves to supporters as he leaves Eyup Sultan mosque in Istanbul Turkey Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan waves to supporters as he leaves Eyup Sultan mosque in Istanbul Turkey
Christy Curtis | 18 April, 2017, 17:34

Leader Devlet Bahceli, who led the party's push for "Yes", said the result was an "undeniably successful achievement" and should be respected, according to Reuters news agency.

They pointed out that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe had already last week expressed doubt about the whether the conditions for the vote were fair.

In Istanbul, hundreds of demonstrators opposed to the amendments marched in a central neighbourhood late Sunday, clanging pots and pans.

The pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) has also challenged the voters, warning that a decision by electoral officers to allow voting papers without official stamps to be counted opened the way for fraud. "The crusader mentality attacked us overseas, inside their lackeys attacked us".

His congratulations stands in stark contrast to the more cautious tone adopted by European leaders and a statement issued by the US State Department, which acknowledged the results but warned against further repression by the Turkish government of the political opposition.

Trump called the Turkish leader on Monday shortly after worldwide monitors delivered a harsh verdict on the referendum on constitutional changes.

The increasing polarization of Turkish society has long anxious observers, who note the dangers of deepening societal divisions in a country with a history of political instability. This would end Turkey's European Union negotiations.

Bringing back the death penalty will also be at the centre of public debate in the coming days.

"We have said this over and over in my speeches".

After noting Mr Trump's congratulations, a brief read-out of the phone call read at the White House on Monday night pivoted to a recent USA missile strike on a Syrian airfield, which it said Mr Trump and Mr Erdogan had also discussed. Erdogan reiterated his readiness to restore the death penalty at several appearances on Monday, which would effectively end Turkey's decades-long quest to join the EU. "Tayyip Erdogan may have done more good than the other big players (of Turkish politics). but I think of Tayyip Erdogan as just the best of the worst".

President Donald Trump, meanwhile, ignored the concerns about voting irregularities and congratulated Erdogan on his referendum victory. The men discussed the US missile strike in Syria in response to the chemical weapons attack on civilians. They set a limit of two five-year terms for presidents.

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 be able to select and remove senior civil servants without parliamentary approval. Other changes are to be implemented sooner, including scrapping a requirement that the president not be a member of any political party.

Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera pointed out that the Yes campaign, which was spearheaded by the governing Justice and Development (AK) Party, did less well than expected in major cities such as Istanbul and Ankara.

Cagaptay says Erdogan "has become the most powerful person in the country's history in at least a century".

Recommended