Turkey's Referendum: Historic Change or Historic Division?

International Observers Find Faults With 2.5 Million Turkish Referendum Votes

International Observers Find Faults With 2.5 Million Turkish Referendum Votes

Not only did some "no" voters face intimidation at the polls, the observers said Monday, but the ballots themselves didn't even state what the vote was about.

The president also warned the worldwide monitors "not to join a race of casting shadows over the elections", adding: "You can not achieve any result".

Representatives from a coalition of global bodies said the referendum took place on an "unlevel playing field" with the "yes" campaign dominating media coverage.

The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) said they would challenge the results from most of the ballot boxes due to alleged violations.

An unprecedented electoral board decision to accept ballots that didn't bear the official stamp has led to outrage among the opposition.

Turkey's three biggest cities -Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir- voted No.

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.

Around 55 million people were eligible to vote in the referendum. "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 [electoral board]", he said.

Police ID victim in Facebook livestream homicide
Alexander wrote on Facebook that he'd seen the horrific video showing Godwin's shooting death and thought it was "disgusting". I am sorry that all of this has happened. "My heart and prayer goes out to the family members of the victim (s)".

"Late changes in counting procedures removed an important safeguard", Preda added, referring to a move by the election authorities to allow voting documents without an official stamp.

Once confirmed, moves could get underway to implement the 18-article reform package put forward by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accompanied by his wife Emine, left, waves to supporters prior to his speech during a rally one day after the referendum, outside the Presidential Palace, in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, April 17, 2017. Official results are expected in 11 to 12 days.

The monitors - a partnership of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Council of Europe - said that the "yes" campaign dominated media coverage, that voters were not provided with adequate information, that opposition voices were muzzled and that the rules were changed at the last minute.

"God willing, these results will be the beginning of a new era in our country", Erdoogan said after his victory was clear on Sunday night. He doesn't expect a different decision from the Board, the Constitutional Court or the European Court from Human Rights.

In a joint statement, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel warned that the tight results of this referendum reveals the severe polarization within the Turkish society.

The initial reaction from Turkey's Western allies was far from ebullient, with top European Union officials saying Turkey had to find the "broadest possible" agreement on the changes in view of the closeness of the result.

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