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Mixed message from U.S. as Trump congratulates Erdogan

Mixed message from U.S. as Trump congratulates Erdogan

Responding to the results, Mr. Erdogan said Turkey had made a historic decision in backing an executive presidential system, adding that the "Yes" camp had secured 25 million referendum votes, 1.3 million ahead of "No". A last-minute decision by Turkey's electoral board to accept ballots as valid without official stamps raised concerns of widespread ballot stuffing; European Union monitors noted how these "late changes in counting procedures removed an important safeguard" to a credible vote tally.

The European Commission wants Turkey to investigate "alleged irregularities" in Sunday's referendum boosting the power of President Erdogan.

(AP Photo/Petros Karadjias). Supporters of the "no" vote, (Hayir in Turkish) chant slogans during a protest against the referendum outcome, in Istanbul, Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

There is a school of thought that the sweeping new powers granted by referendum to Turkey's president matter little, since Recep Tayyip Erdogan had already managed to grant himself most of those powers anyway.

DEEP DIVIDE Election authorities said preliminary results showed 51.4 percent of voters had backed the biggest overhaul of Turkish politics since the founding of the modern republic. The co-chairs and 11 other deputies of the third-largest pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) have also been arrested, crippling the party's ability to campaign against the constitutional amendments.

"It's wrong to say something after the nation has spoken", he said. The assessment drew a harsh rebuke from Erdogan and criticism from Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.

Canada's Trudeau defends dairy system after Trump criticism
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to the media during a visit to the Manhattan borough of NY , U.S., April 6, 2017. It was Trudeau's first comment since Trump first attacked the Canadian dairy industry on Tuesday at an event in Wisconsin.

In a direct response to the board's decision, the CHP said on Wednesday the party would employ all means to appeal the results of the referendum.

Global election monitors, including from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, noted a series of irregularities, and said the decision to accept as valid ballots without official stamps undermined safeguards against fraud and was contrary to Turkish law. The U.S. State Department said it had taken note of the European monitors' concerns and looked forward to a final report, urging the Turkish government to protect the rights and freedoms of all citizens, however they voted.

"We are here today for the sake of Turkey, to live together, to take a stand for our votes", protester Tezcan Karakus Candan said. "From the German government's point of view, Turkey must. clear up the questions that have been raised".

"The way President Trump is approaching matters is encouraging, makes us happy", Erdogan told CNN International in an exclusive interview.

Soner Cagaptay, director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute, agreed that an early election is not Erdogan's priority but said the possibility could not be ruled out.

In contrast with European leaders, US President Donald Trump has congratulated the Turkish president, hours after the US state department mentioned concerns by global observers and urged Turkey to respect the rights of its citizens - chiming with sentiment in European capitals. "After our president and Trump confirmed a meeting in May, [US Secretary of State Rex] Tillerson and I will set a date", Cavusoglu said.


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