President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Says Turkey Will Ignore Election Monitors' Referendum Criticism

Turkey's main opposition party, known by its Turkish acronym CHP, has called for the results to be nullified, citing irregularities.

Presidential sources claimed that Mr Erdogan has said the result of the referendum is clear.

Under the new system, power will be concentrated under the president, who was previously head of state, but not head of government.

"However, this new state of affairs may suit both president Erdogan and European Union leaders", Pierini added. However, three amendments will automatically come into effect following the publication of official election results in 10 to 11 days, according to Mehmet Elitas, the deputy chairman of the governing party, AKP.

The president survived a coup attempt a year ago and responded with a crackdown, jailing 47,000 people and sacking or suspending more than 120,000 from government jobs such as schoolteachers, soldiers, police, judges or other professionals.

He also said the High Electoral Board's (YSK) decision to accept unstamped ballots was clearly against the law.

Cakirozer said: "At the moment this is a dubious vote".

Turkey is a full member of the Council of Europe, which "stands ready to support the country in this process", Jagland added. The protesters, many of them university students below the age of 30, wore colorful masks shouting "No!" and beat drums, pots and pans as they marched Istiklal Street in Istanbul. It traded at 3.6380 against the USA dollar early on Monday, firming from 3.7220 on Friday.

The head of Turkey's Electoral Board has confirmed the result of the referendum, saying the "yes" vote has won.

Turkey's largest cities however, Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir, voted no.

According to Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, the referendum "shows how divided the country is".

The margin could cement President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's hold on power in Turkey for a decade and is expected to have a huge effect on the country's long-term political future and its global relations.

In Istanbul, accountant Mete Cetinkaya was anxious about his country's future.

"I don't think one-man rule is such a scary thing".

Opponents say it is a step towards greater authoritarianism.

"I voted "No" because I don't want this whole country and its legislative, executive and judiciary ruled by one man", said Hamit Yaz, 34, a ship's captain, after voting in Istanbul.

Proponents of the reform argue that it would end the current "two-headed system" in which both the president and parliament are directly elected, a situation they argue could lead to deadlock. After serving as prime minister for almost a decade, he took over as president in 2014 and through force of personality turned a largely ceremonial role into a de facto head of government.

CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu said: "We respect the nation's will but the decision on unsealed ballots overshadowed it".

  • Salvatore Jensen