Turkey Referendum: 'Yes' Claims Victory as International Observers Cry Foul

They take some comfort from the result given that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan failed to get over 50% in Turkey's biggest cities.

Vice President of the social-democratic Republican People's Party (CHP), Bulent Tezcan, said there were widespread irregularities registered in Sunday's vote, Efe news reported.

"Late changes in counting procedures removed an important safeguard", said Preda, who headed the PACE delegation, referring to the election authorities' decision to permit ballot papers without an official stamp. "This is why the only decision that will end debate about the legitimacy (of the vote) and ease the people's legal concerns is the annulment of this election by the YSK", Tezcan told a news conference.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the changes are necessary to bring stability to Turkish politics and prevent a return to fragile coalitions. In some neighbourhoods of Istanbul, residents beat pots and pans in a sign of protest.

The "yes" side won with 51.4 percent of the vote, with 48.6 voting "no".

In a joint statement, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said that the outcome of the vote has indicated a "deeply divided" Turkish society.

Turkey's electoral board confirmed the "yes" victory in the referendum and said the final results would be declared in 11-12 days.

Following decisions by German and Dutch authorities to block pro-Erdogan rallies in their countries ahead of the referendum, the Turkish president characterized his European opponents as the "grandchildren of Nazism".

Turkey's president Monday rebuffed a report critical of Turkey's handling of Sunday's historic referendum, saying Ankara would ignore its claims, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

Since the July 2016 coup attempt, Erdogan has been emboldened to crack down on any semblance of independent press and set out purging large swaths of the country's bureaucracy to try to diminish the perceived influence of the followers of Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen, who Erdogan accuses of controlling state institutions through his followers positioned there.

However the parliament faction chief of the ruling Justice Development Party (AKP), Mustafa Elitas said Erdogan would his month get an offer to rejoin that party he founded but had to leave when he became president - under the last constitution a supposedly apolitical role. "Erdogan has ruled with a narrow victory before".

The referendum on Sunday night followed remarks from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, of which Turkey is a member, that the conditions for the vote did not appear "fair".

The main opposition party rejected the result and called for the vote to be annulled.

The changes will allow the president to appoint ministers, senior government officials and half the members of Turkey's highest judicial body, as well as to issue decrees and declare states of emergency.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek told Reuters on Monday he expected the "noise" between Ankara and Europe should die down after the European elections cycle.

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