Turkey: Main opposition party files for referendum annulment

A man reads a newspaper with images of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and a map showing the results of Sunday referendum in Diyarbakir Turkey Monday

A man reads a newspaper with images of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and a map showing the results of Sunday referendum in Diyarbakir Turkey Monday

The call came a day after more than 51 percent of Turks voted in favor of 18 constitutional amendments that will, among other things, see Turkey switch from a parliamentary to a presidential system of governance.

Not only does the result give him new powers as the country's head of state, but also extends his influence over the judiciary making him dominant over the Parliament.

Erdogan responded by criticizing the worldwide election monitors, saying that they need to "know their place".

Germany said on Monday the close result in Turkey's referendum on expanding Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's powers was a big responsibility for him to bear and showed how divided Turkish society was.

Bulent Tezcan, deputy leader of the Republican People's Party, or CHP, Turkey's main opposition party, said Monday that "only one decision" could calm the nation - "for the referendum to be canceled by the Supreme Election Board".

"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 center, a specific political authority", he told his party's lawmakers during a speech in Ankara Tuesday.

"Under the state of emergency put in place after the July 2016 failed coup attempt, fundamental freedoms essential to a genuinely democratic process were curtailed".

The YSK has said official results will be presented in 10 days, and only then could the opposition appeal the results to the constitutional court.

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A primary opposition complaint is that, as voting was underway, Turkey's election board made a decision to accept ballots that were not stamped with an official seal, in contravention of the law.

Mr Celik said: "While legislation is being aggravated and strengthened in the face of terrorist threats across Europe, it is unrealistic to expect that Turkey should weaken its legislation".

The White House in a statement later on Monday said that the two leaders discussed a range of topics in addition to the vote. "Wait!" Erdogan told supporters. He is a charismatic and populist leader who served his country in many ways and earned so much trust and confidence of his people that they came out instantly at his call to defend democracy when some sections of Turkish Army tried to stage a coup in July a year ago.

The statement did not say whether Mr Trump had raised independent reports of voting irregularities during the Turkish referendum or the government's heavy-handed tactics in the weeks leading up to it, when the country was under a state of emergency.

The approval means the Turkish parliament will be largely sidelined, the prime minister and Cabinet posts will be abolished, and ministers will be directly appointed by the president and accountable to him.

Meanwhile, Turkey's Erdogan energetically criticized the electoral monitors complaining to reporters on Monday that, "the crusader mentality in the West and its servants at home have attacked us".

Most changes won't go into effect until the next general elections, set for November 3, 2019.

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