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Turkey rejects European Union call for referendum probe

21 April 2017, 02:59 | Taylor George

Turkey's premier calls on opposition to respect referendum

A supporter of the'no vote lights a flare during a protest in Istanbul against the referendum outcome Monday

"Saying the referendum fell below worldwide standards is unacceptable", the ministry said in a statement, adding that previous "politically charged" comments from OSCE monitors showed the team arrived in Turkey with prejudice and disregarded principles of objectivity and impartiality.

Opposition parties have complained of a series of irregularities, including an electoral board decision to accept ballots that did not bear official stamps, as required by Turkish law.

In a blow to the prestige of the president, the "No" campaign notched up the most votes in Turkey's three biggest cities of Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir.

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

(AP Photo/Emrah Gurel). A supporter of the "no" vote lights a flare during a protest in Istanbul, against the referendum outcome, Monday, April 17, 2017.

Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu has raised objections to the actions of the country's electoral board in the conduct of Sunday's referendum on whether to expand the powers of the president. BBC reports in its article Turkey referendum: EU urges Ankara to probe illegal vote claims that the European Commission has called on Turkey to launch a "transparent investigation" into allegations of irregularities during the referendum giving the president sweeping powers.

The call comes after Turkey rejected worldwide observers' criticism of the referendum on Sunday, in which over 51% of voters supported granting greater powers to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and turning Turkey's parliamentary system into a presidential one.

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The referendum resulted in 51.4 per cent of Turkish voters casting their ballot in support of expanding the powers of the presidency, while the no vote had 48.6 per cent support.

Opposition parties have promised to challenge the outcome.

"Calling people to the streets by using various communication channels and refusing to recognize the results is never acceptable", Yildirim said.

That drew a harsh rebuke from Erdogan and criticism from Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.

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.

His support for hard-line Islamist groups fighting the Syrian regime-like the USA support for Afghan mujahedeen fighting the Soviets during the 1980s-has begun to backfire as Turkey has become a target of terrorist attacks from Salafist extremists.

An independent monitor of the referendum vote, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), said in a report that "fundamental freedoms essential to a genuinely democratic process were curtailed". "We will follow closely how Turkey behaves on this". Cavusoglu said that he and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson would finalize the date according to the two presidents' schedules.



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