Friday, 23 February, 2018

Turkey's premier calls on opposition to respect referendum

Merkel urges ‘respectful’ dialogue Merkel urges ‘respectful’ dialogue
Melinda Barton | 20 April, 2017, 07:31

"Wait!" Erdogan told supporters.

Protests broke out on Monday evening in numerous cities across Turkey, as representatives from the European human rights organisation's observer mission warned that Sunday's referendum did not live up to standards set by the Council of Europe, citing an inadequate legal framework and late changes in ballot counting.

Binali Yildirim made the call during an address to legislators from his ruling party, as the country's main opposition party prepared to apply to the country's highest electoral board to seek an annulation of Sunday's vote which gave President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's "yes" camp a narrow win. The validity of the vote - which will do away with Turkey's parliament and could allow Erdoğan to stay in power through 2029 - was challenged by the opposition party and worldwide election observers.

Preda was joined by Tana de Zulueta, head of another team of worldwide observers, who said the referendum fell short of global standards.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, delivers a speech during a rally of supporters a day after the referendum, outside the Presidential Palace, in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, April 17, 2017.

Mr Erdogan called on foreign powers to respect the outcome of the referendum granting him extra powers, after a campaign marked by bitter tensions with the European Union. He also said the decision of the YSK election board to accept unstamped ballots was clearly against the law.

"What makes any country a democracy is the security of the ballot boxes", Feyzioglu told Reuters.

"This is was an election without legitimacy", Tezcan said after delivering the complaint to YSK headquarters in Ankara, claiming there was an organised campaign for the "stealing of the people's will".

Analysts have said "No" camp's performance was impressive especially given that the election was held under a state of emergency first imposed after the failed July coup. Hundreds of demonstrators marched in a central neighbourhood, clanking pots and pans and chant.

The new system would dispense with the office of prime minister and centralise the entire executive bureaucracy under the president, giving Erdogan the direct power to appoint ministers. To the European Union, which Erdogan has been trying to join for a number of years, there are elements of the constitutional changes that member states seem to invalidate the Turkish request. "We have work to do".