European Union calls on Turkey to investigate referendum fraud allegations

Opposition parties including the main opposition CHP and the pro-Kurdish HDP had called on the electoral board to annul Sunday's vote, which was narrowly won by the "Yes" camp, because unstamped ballot papers were included.

To the dismay of opposition parties and "No" supporters, the YSK made a last-minute decision on Sunday to accept ballot documents in envelopes without an official stamp.

The voters also turned Turkey's parliamentary system into a presidential one.

The EU has called on the civil authorities in Turkey to launch a transparent investigation into the referendum result granting Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan sweeping new powers.

Turkey's main opposition party has filed a formal request seeking Sunday's referendum to be annulled because of alleged voting irregularities.

The complaints would be reviewed before noon, Sadi Guven said in Ankara, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

Up to 2.5 million votes could have been manipulated in the referendum, Alev Korun, an Austrian member of the Council of Europe observer mission, told ORF radio yesterday. "From the German government's point of view, Turkey must ... clear up the questions that have been raised".

While EU Commission spokesperson Margaritis Schinas said the political body was encouraging "Turkey to move closer to the European Union again, and not to move even further and faster away from us", the country's EU ambassador Omer Celik lashed out at what he said were "politically motivated" comments.

But Erdogan said Turkey had no intention of paying any attention to the monitors' report.

"What matters for us is not so much the first reaction from whomever in Turkey, directed more at domestic politics, but whether the responsible Turkish authorities really deal seriously with the criticism voiced publicly by the OSCE election observer mission, which was meant seriously and researched seriously".

Ignoring these monitors, US President Donald Trump called Erdogan on Monday to congratulate him on the referendum.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan will meet U.S. President Donald Trump in May ahead of a meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday.

In an interview with CNN on Tuesday, the Turkish president said he would be happy to meet with Trump and "take our relationship forward".

  • Leroy Wright