Turkey PM: Opposition Must Respect Referendum Results

Speaking to a meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Ankara, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said "everyone has to respect the result, including the main opposition party".

An unofficial tally carried by the country's state-run news agency gave President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's "yes" camp a narrow win.

Mehmet Hadimi Yakupoglu, the main opposition Republican People's Party's representative at the board, said they would take the decision to the constitutional court and then to the European Court of Human Rights if necessary. Questions about whether Erdogan's government abused the process to ensure its preferred outcome remain unanswered.

Erdogan has dismissed the criticism from the observer mission, telling the monitors that they should "know your place".

"The tight referendum result shows how deeply divided Turkish society is and that means a big responsibility for the Turkish leadership and for President Erdogan personally", Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said in a joint statement, calling for a "respectful dialogue" in Ankara with the opposition and all parts of Turkish society.

Former Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans, who spent four days in Turkey as an official global monitor, said there was clear evidence of the campaign being one-sided.

Erdogan reaffirmed he would now hold talks on reinstating capital punishment - a move that would automatically end Turkey's European Union bid - and would call another referendum if the bill did not get enough votes in parliament to become law.

The EU's call comes after the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe, a democracy watchdog, both said in a report that it saw fundamental flaws and an uneven playing field in Turkey's referendum.

"The rule of a match can not be changed while the match is being played, this is a universal rule", he said.

Mr Evans said three-quarters of TV and press coverage of the campaign had been given to Erdogan's Yes campaign, while ruled were changed to allow unstamped ballot papers to be counted.

Turkish people both in Turkey and overseas are continuing to celebrate the referendum result that will see the country switch its government from a parliamentary system to a presidential one.

Worldwide observers charged Monday that the referendum campaign was conducted on an "unlevel playing field" and that the vote count was marred by late procedural changes that removed key safeguards.

  • Leroy Wright