Economy

Petitions to cancel Turkey referendum result rejected by electoral board

Petitions to cancel Turkey referendum result rejected by electoral board

Turkey's state-run news agency says 19 people were detained in Istanbul for allegedly using the results of a constitutional referendum as an "excuse" to organize "unauthorized demonstrations".

Following Sunday's referendum, Germany's opposition The Left Party has demanded the suspension of Ankara's European Union talks arguing that the transition to a presidential system would move Turkey away from democracy.

The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) had on Tuesday asked that the poll be scrapped over alleged violations.

The German government has rejected calls from opposition parties to suspend Turkey's European Union membership talks after Sunday's referendum in which more than 50 percent of Turks voted "Yes" to a transition to a presidential system.

Speaking in Ankara earlier on Wednesday, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the issue of the election result was closed and warned against street protests.

"Objection to election results should remain there", he said. Turkey's main opposition party has filed a formal request seeking Sun.

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Turkey's bar association said a last-minute decision by the YSK electoral board to allow unstamped ballots in the referendum was clearly against the law, prevented proper records being kept, and may have impacted the results.

The "No" camp would have emerged victorious were it not for the YSK's changes, he said, adding: "We won't stop until we find justice". Some voters had been unable to cast their ballots in private, he also said.

On Monday, global election monitors delivered a scathing verdict on the conduct of the referendum. It would dispense with the prime minister's post and centralise the executive bureaucracy under the president.

The campaign took place under a state of emergency and in a highly repressive climate in the aftermath of the failed July 15, 2016 military coup. The "no" campaign said it faced intimidation and threats of violence, while opposition figures and journalists were jailed.

But Turkey's President has insisted that his plans to assume do not make him a dictator and that the changes were not about empowering him.

"I am a mortal really, I could die at any time", Erdogan said. He rejected accusations that he supported the new powers out of a desire to empower himself rather than improve Turkey's political system.

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He said that Turkey did not "see, hear or acknowledge" the observer mission's reports and accused some European countries of showing more opposition to the constitutional changes than Turkey's own opposition parties.

After Erdogan won a referendum that cemented his dictatorial regime in Turkey, Trump promptly called him to congratulate him on his victory.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Erdogan and Trump would meet in person next month, before a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit.

A senior official with the Trump administration said the President did not raise any concerns about the referendum with Erdogan, describing that part of the phone call as a "simple congrats".

According to Turkish officials, the leaders also discussed the situation in Syria, with Trump commending Turkey's support of recent USA military strikes against the regime of dictator Bashir al-Assad.

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