Published: Wed, April 19, 2017
Global | By Doris Richards

Turkey opposition calls for referendum to be annulled

Turkey opposition calls for referendum to be annulled

Late on Monday, the cabinet extended a state of emergency by three months, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus told reporters.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, delivers a speech during a rally of supporters a day after the referendum, outside the Presidential Palace, in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, April 17, 2017.

It does not mention whether Trump raised concerns over alleged voting irregularities during the referendum or of government measures restricting equal campaigning opportunities in the weeks leading up to it, both of which were highlighted in an earlier statement by the State Department, reported by the the The New York Times.

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"One side's dominance in the coverage and restrictions on the media reduced voters' access to a plurality of views", said the report.

While the monitors had no information of actual fraud, a last-minute decision by electoral authorities to allow unstamped ballots to be counted undermined an important safeguard and contradicted electoral law, they said.

"These complaints are to be taken very seriously and they are, in any case, of such an extent that they would turn around the outcome of the vote", Alev Korun told ORF radio. The OSCE also said its monitors faced restrictions. Turkey's foreign ministry dismissed the observers' criticism as lacking objectivity and impartiality. Commenting on Erdogan's victory, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said yesterday: "We look to the government of Turkey to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of all its citizens - regardless of their vote on April 16 - as guaranteed by the Turkish constitution and in accordance with Turkey's global commitments including the Helsinki Charter".

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He has also been at the centre of global affairs, commanding NATO's second-biggest military on the border of Middle East war zones, taking in millions of Syrian refugees and controlling their further flow into Europe.

The main opposition People's Republican Party (CHP), which has said it will take its challenge to the European Court of Human Rights if necessary, said it would present a formal appeal to annul the vote to the YSK later on Tuesday. "No" campaigners in the region said its observers were prevented from monitoring many ballot stations.

Opposition CHP head Kemal Kilicdaroglu accused the electoral board of bias and of favoring the governing party.

Last year, Obama said there were trends in Turkey that he was "troubled with", including a fierce crackdown on the press.

Trump called the Turkish leader on Monday shortly after worldwide monitors delivered a harsh verdict on the referendum on constitutional changes.

The Turkish leader stepped up his vitriol against European critics on Monday, telling a crowd of supporters, "We don't care about the opinions of "Hans" or "George" or "Helga". Erdogan provoked a stern German response by comparing those limits to the actions of the Nazis.

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