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Turkish PM warns opposition against street protests

21 April 2017, 02:47 | Terri Saunders

Supporters of the "no" vote protest in Istanbul, against the referendum outcome, Monday, April 17, 2017.

A spokesman for European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said claims from neutral observers of election irregularities had been "examined attentively" in Brussels.

The state of emergency allows the government to rule by decrees without seeking parliamentary approval. The main secularist opposition People's Republican Party said it was still unclear how many votes were affected.

"We demand the cancellation of this referendum", Tezcan said. In particular, observers pointed to a controversial last-minute decision by Turkey's electoral board to accept ballots that did not have official stamps, saying the move undermined safeguards against voter fraud.

Observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe said Sunday's referendum had been an uneven contest.

"Objection to election results should remain there", he said.

"Here we have a ballot box. the democracy gets its power from the people".

As a result, it is extremely likely that Turkey will find itself riven with growing popular opposition to what is widely seen as an illegitimate autocratic government led by a risky and unpredictable demagogue.

Former Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans, who spent four days in Turkey as an official worldwide monitor, said there was clear evidence of the campaign being one-sided.

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

The referendum has no "democratic legitimacy", HDP spokesman and lawmaker Osman Baydemir told reporters in Ankara. Hundreds of people are queuing in front of Turkey's election board in cap.

The YSK said on its website on Sunday, as votes were still being cast, that it had received "considerable complaints" that voters had been given slips and envelopes without official stamps and that it would accept unstamped documents as long as they were not proven to be fraudulent.

Trump's phone call contrasts sharply with European leaders who have sharply criticised the referendum describing the narrow victory as a sign of authoritarianism.

For his part, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the opposition should now prepare for the next elections in 2019 instead of staging demonstrations and protests, "which would change nothing in the results" of the referendum.

The immediate danger now lies in the fact that nearly half of the country is nearly entirely against Erdogan and the new constitution, which could spell political turmoil and greater instability all the way up until the issue is laid to rest, one way or another, in Turkey's first presidential election under the new constitution in 2019.

Erdogan and ruling party executives dominated TV airwaves during the referendum campaign, with the president arguing that the new system will bring political stability and robust economic growth through faster decision-making and rapid execution. Mr. Erdogan will also be allowed to reassume leadership in the AK Party he co-founded, where under the existing order he is nominally commited to party neutrality.

"We will invite our founding chairman to our party and we will feel a huge elation to see him among us", he said.

The vote comes in the wake of a coup attempt previous year, after which President Erdogan initiated a highly controversial crackdown on political dissent.



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