Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Turkish PM warns opposition against street protests

Melinda Barton | 20 April, 2017, 06:23

President Trump's phone call to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan congratulating him on the passage of a referendum expanding his governing powers was not an endorsement of the measure, the White House said Tuesday.

Prime Minister and AKP leader Binali Yildirim said Erdogan can rejoin the party he founded in 2001 once official results - expected before the end of the month - are announced.

(AP Photo/Petros Karadjias). People walk in central Istanbul's Taksim Square, Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

Sancar went on to state that the electoral board's last-minute decision to allow unstamped ballots had prevented proper record-keeping to occur, meaning it was now impossible to determine how many invalid or make votes may have been counted.

The High Electoral Board said it assessed appeals from the CHP and two other parties at a seven-hour meeting on Wednesday.

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.

Turkey's main opposition party has filed a formal request seeking Sunday's referendum to be annulled because of alleged voting irregularities.

Supporters of the "No" march in Istanbul to submit their petition to call for the annulment of a referendum that approved sweeping constitutional changes boosting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's powers, claiming blatant vote-rigging had swung the result.

On Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the results of Turkish referendum should be respected.

Mehmet Hadimi Yakupoglu, the main opposition Republican People's Party's representative at the board, said they would take the decision to the constitutional court and then to the European Court of Human Rights if necessary.

A prosecutor will now consider whether to press charges against Guven.

Observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe said Sunday's referendum had been an uneven contest.

"What matters for us is not so much the first reaction from whomever in Turkey, directed more at domestic politics, but whether the responsible Turkish authorities really deal seriously with the criticism voiced publicly by the OSCE election observer mission, which was meant seriously and researched seriously".

European officials have firmly declined to congratulate Erdogan's win, unlike the US president.