Monday, 25 September, 2017

Turkey's premier warns opposition against street protests

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has called on the country’s electoral board to cancel Sunday’s referen Turkey's premier calls on opposition to respect referendum
Nellie Chapman | 21 April, 2017, 18:08

(AP Photo/Petros Karadjias). People walk in central Istanbul's Taksim Square, Tuesday, April 18, 2017. "Everyone should respect the outcome, especially the main opposition".

"Efforts to cast a shadow on the result of the vote by spreading rumours of fraud are futile and in vain", Yildirim said. Turkey's main opposition party has filed a formal request seeking Sun.

"It is clear that the High Electoral Board is not receiving its power from the people, the law or the constitution but rather from a specific centre, a specific political authority", he told his party's lawmakers during a speech in Ankara Tuesday.

The White House said they also discussed a U.S. missile strike in Syria and the fight against the Islamic State group, AFP added.

"This is was a vote without legitimacy", Tezcan said after delivering the complaint to YSK headquarters in Ankara.

Hundreds of people lined up outside election board offices in Ankara and Istanbul to submit petitions requesting the board reverse its pronouncement.

To the dismay of opposition parties and "No" supporters, the YSK made a last-minute decision on Sunday to accept ballot documents in envelopes without an official stamp.

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

Underscoring the complicated relationship between the United States and Turkey, the White House readout of Trump's call also noted the pressing issues on which the United States has tried to work with Turkey, namely fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militant group and quelling Syria's civil war.

Germany is Turkey's most important trading partner, with a total volume of 37 billion euros ($39 billion), and one of its largest sources of foreign investment.

On Wednesday, the ruling AK Party set out plans for Erdogan to gradually take back the party reins, in a sign it would begin implementing the changes approved in Sunday's plebiscite. He accused the board of "changing the rules midgame". "This is the reddest of all red lines".

EU Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas called on Turkish authorities "to launch transparent investigations into these alleged irregularities found by the observers".

Erdogan's margin of victory in the referendum was razor-thin.

The president and government should be setting out the steps they intend to take to restore full respect for human rights in Turkey, including ending arbitrary detention and prosecution, safeguarding freedom of the media and expression and judicial independence, and guaranteeing all citizens their right to political participation, Human Rights Watch said.

Before the announcement, Prime Minister Binali Yildrim said the opposition had the right to file objections but said that calling for street protests was unacceptable.

A day earlier, U.S. President Donald Trump congratulated Erdogan on his "victory" in the referendum, which is being challenged by the opposition and has been greeted coolly by the European Union.

Relations between Turkey and Europe's powerhouse nations have come under strain over Erdogan's comments that he would seek the restoration of the death penalty - a move that would sink Turkey's long-stalled bid to join the European Union.

Opposition parties have complained of a series of irregularities, particularly an electoral board decision to accept ballots without official stamps, as required by Turkish law.