WH: Trump's call to Turkish president wasn't endorsement of referendum

The head of Turkey's Supreme Election Board (YSK) said on Wednesday that the board will evaluate appeals for annulment of constitutional referendum result.

On Sunday, Turkey narrowly voted to give President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sweeping new powers and replace their parliamentary system with a presidential one.

The 18 constitutional amendments that will come into effect after the next election, scheduled for 2019, will abolish the office of the prime minister and hand sweeping executive powers to the president.

Turkey's main opposition began a battle on Tuesday to annul a referendum handing President Tayyip Erdogan sweeping new powers, while the bar association and an worldwide monitor said an illegal move by electoral authorities may have swung the vote.

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 police told the detainees that they were accused of trying to agitate people against the "yes" vote", Mr. Demirdogen said by telephone from the police station in Istanbul where his client had been taken. Turkey's main opposition party u.

Erdogan's victory was by a hair - with the rules for counting votes changed at the last minute, after months of a state of emergency that has seen many opposition figures jailed and the judiciary and security services purged.

Yildirim said the "the path to seek rights" should be limited to legal objections and urged the opposition to accept the vote's outcome.

"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 centre, a specific political authority", CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu said in a speech, accusing the body of "changing the rules mid-game". Everyone and all sections - and the main opposition party in particular- must show respect.

In Ankara, Fatma Korur, 46, said she was exercising her constitutional right to object to "illegal" results.

"With this illegal decision, ballot box councils (officials at polling stations) were misled into believing that the use of unstamped ballots was appropriate", the Union of Turkish Bar Associations (TBB) said in a statement. However, numerous changes are expected to be implemented much sooner.

Thousands of protesters accusing the ruling AK Party of election fraud have taken to the streets of Istanbul, Ankara and other cities since Sunday's vote, with another wave of demonstrations planned for Wednesday evening.

MS. Shinas also noted that if Turkey were to reinstate the death penalty, which Mr. Erdogan has shown willingness for, the country's prospects of joining the European Union would be over.

At a briefing Monday, press secretary Sean Spicer was asked what Trump would like to see the Turkish president do, to which he responded, "I think we'd rather not get ahead of that report and start to make decisions without knowing".

  • Leroy Wright