Trump Congratulates Erdogan After Referendum Win
- Author: Salvatore Jensen Apr 18, 2017,
Apr 18, 2017, 20:24
The head of Turkey's electoral board confirmed the "yes" victory and said final results would be declared in 11-12 days. 63% of German Turks who voted in the referendum supported the constitutional amendments.
The most significant change is that Erdogan will have greater latitude in appointing judges and prosecutors. Turkish voters were casting their ballots Sunday in a historic referendum on whether to appro. He said the results of the referendum on constitutional changes are "illegitimate" and the party would use all legal paths to challenge it.
But with each election win, Erdogan grew more powerful, and, his critics say, more authoritarian. But success did not come without a cost.
Turkish opposition figures have already demanded the vote be annulled.
The referendum won by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will take Turkey from the parliamentary to the presidential system.
Under Turkey's 2010 electoral law, all ballots require an official stamp as a measure aimed at preventing vote stuffing.
Acting State Department spokesperson Mark Toner said USA officials have noted the OSCE's concerns, according to Reuters. By the end of a long night that margin had narrowed significantly, and complaints of violations in the vote were rife.
There was also a familiar noise coming from many more neighbourhoods; the banging of pots and pans, which became a popular protest action during the 2013 Gezi protests that set the stage for a new, concerted opposition to Erdogan's rule. "The crusader mentality attacked us overseas". We did not succumb. "As a nation we stood strong".
Decrying a "crusader mentality", Erdogan told a crowd of his supporters that the worldwide monitors should "know their place", according to Reuters.
The increasing polarization of Turkish society has long anxious observers, who note the dangers of deepening societal divisions in a country with a history of political instability. The European Parliament suspended talks last November over Mr. Erodogan's crackdown in response to a July 2016 coup attempt to unseat him.
The gravity of the issues in the referendum swelled turnout on Sunday, bringing out 86 percent of voters, including people who called themselves apolitical or said they were unaffiliated with any of Turkey's major parties.
Associated Press reported that due to the unrest on Monday, Turkey's Council of Ministers chose to extend Turkey's current state of emergency for an additional three months. It had been due to expire April 19. "Erdogan personally needs to take on a great responsibility", she said. "Forty-eight percent of the population is being told that their voices don't matter".
The European Union opposed Erdogan's bid to shift the country to a system giving the president sweeping new powers.
"Both the USA and European Union are in a bind", said Michael Werz, a Turkey analyst with the Center for American Progress. "Right now we should remain calm and act carefully".
"Either they will hold their promises to Turkey or they'll have to bear the consequences", he added.
"Our concern is not what George or Hans or Helga says".
Other European leaders have expressed concern about the possibility of the return of capital punishment.
"There is a suspicion that up to 2.5 million votes could have been manipulated", Alev Korun, an Austrian member of parliament, said.
In a separate statement, France›s Foreign Ministry called on the Turkish government to respect the European Convention on Human Rights and its ban on the death penalty.
"Trump called Erdogan tonight (Monday) and congratulated him on his success in the referendum", Turkish presidential sources said, quoted by the government run Anadolu news agency.
Underscoring the complicated relationship between the USA and Turkey, the White House readout of Trump's call also noted the pressing issues on which the US has tried to work with Turkey, namely fighting the Islamic State group and quelling Syria's civil war. In a statement issued earlier on Monday, the department noted that in their preliminary assessment, global observers raised concerns about "irregularities on voting day and an uneven playing field" during the campaign.
While the OSCE refused to be drawn in on whether the shortcomings and difficulties it highlighted were enough to affect the outcome of the vote, its assessment will likely embolden the opposition and add to growing global concern.