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Turkey's AKP eyes gradual Erdogan return to party after referendum win

21 April 2017, 09:32 | Terri Saunders

Turkey's AKP eyes gradual Erdogan return to party after referendum win

Turkey's AKP eyes gradual Erdogan return to party after referendum win

HDP deputy chairman Mithat Sancar said the vote was undermined by the fact that the campaign was held under emergency rule while the party's co-leaders were under arrest, that its candidates for polling station monitors were rejected, and that state resources were used in the "yes" campaign.

"This was a vote without legitimacy", Tezcan said.

CHP chief Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said the government and the YSK had "staged a coup against the national will". The message to other autocrats is clear: If you do the same, you too can get a slap on the back from the USA president.

"This is not a system belonging to Tayyip Erdoğan".

The final results of the referendum are expected to be known within 10-11 days.

But even the State Department managed to show some spine in response to Erdogan's dubious triumph, calling on Turkey to uphold human rights, "as guaranteed by the Turkish Constitution and in accordance with Turkey's global commitments".

The referendum victory would give Erdogan sweeping new powers, including directly appointing ministers and high court judges.

The referendum was seen as crucial not just for shaping Turkey's political system but also the future strategic direction of a nation that has been a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member since 1952 and a European Union hopeful for half a century.

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If the questionable results of the referendum hold, and there's no reason to think they won't, Turkey's elected despot will continue following the path of such authoritarian nationalists as Viktor "the Victator" Orban of Hungary, Abdel Fatah al-Sissi of Egypt and Vladimir Putin of Russian Federation.

"We will demand the rights of the voters until the end", he said.

The reaction from Trump contrasts with European Union leaders who have been reserved in their reaction to the narrow victory while monitors expressed concern over the "unlevel playing field".

But he said the AKP would not hold a party congress until 2018, indicating Erdogan would not officially become its leader until then, despite widespread expectations that it would happen nearly immediately.

Protests were reported in at least 20 Turkish cities, including the largest three, namely Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir, in which thousands have been demanding the annulment of the referendum.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has apparently realized his vision for turning his nation from a parliamentary democracy to a new system of government where a strong executive - Erdogan himself - wields overwhelming power.

'It doesn't matter if you win 1-0 or 5-0.

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