ibusinesslines.com March 19, 2018

Trump congratulates Turkish President Erdogan on referendum victory

20 April 2017, 03:37 | Jodi Jackson

Thousands of people marched through neighbourhoods of Istanbul, some chanting "Thief, Erdogan", "no to the presidency" and "this is just the beginning".

Some referendum supporters heading out to celebrate as results came in reported feeling disappointed and surprised that the measure hadn't passed with 65 or 70 percent of the vote.

The monitoring group described a series of irregularities in the referendum, including a skewed pre-vote campaign in favor of the "yes" vote, the intimidation of the "no" campaign and the fact that the referendum question was not listed on the ballot.

"I think we'd rather not get ahead of that report and start to make decisions without knowing". We keep going our own way.

Some MEPs are already calling for the door to be slammed shut on Turkey's longstanding European Union membership bid.

"The crusader mentality in the West and its servants at home have attacked us", he told a crowd as he arrived at Ankara airport, in response to the vote monitors' assessment. "As a nation, we stood strong".

One of Turkey's main grievances with the United States is the policy started by the Obama administration of supporting Kurdish fighters in Syria who are fighting IS forces.

Speaking late on Monday, 17 April, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said the cabinet agreed to extend the state of emergency on the recommendations of the National Security Council.

The EU's executive arm warned Ankara that restoring the death penalty would be a "red line". But such decrees should be approved by the parliament.

He also announced that the AK Party will invite President Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan to join the party after the official results of the referendum are announced and published.

- Reviving the death penalty? The Turkish government confirmed the conversation in a statement. The Turkish system has been steadily changing from a parliamentarian to a presidential system.

The European Union also urged a probe into the poll fraud claims after global observers voiced concerns, but both US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday called Erdogan to offer congratulations.

The two leaders also discussed Turkey's support of the US response to a Syrian chemical weapons attack and efforts to counter the Islamic State group, according to the White House statement on their phone call Monday.

Along with Trump, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz also extended his congratulations to Erdogan on Monday, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

Turkey's main opposition party urged the country's electoral board Monday to cancel the results of a landmark referendum that granted sweeping new powers to Erdogan, citing what it called substantial voting irregularities.

"The German federal government expects the Turkish government to seek respectful dialogue with all political and societal powers in the nation after a tough referendum campaign", the statement from Merkel and German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel read. During the campaigns, Erdogan hit out at European leaders who banned or restricted rallies linked to the referendum in their countries. He added that the EU's "threats of suspending membership talks don't mean much to Turkey".

However, Gerald Knaus, a policy consultant who helped broker the agreement with Turkey told German media Monday that despite tensions, Turkey is unlikely to rescind, due in part to the fact the deal includes an European Union commitment to provide Turkey with six billion euros ($6.39 billion) by 2018.

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