Turkey's premier calls on opposition to respect referendum


Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, pulled off quite a feat.

In contrast with European leaders, US President Donald Trump has congratulated the Turkish president, hours after the US state department mentioned concerns by worldwide observers and urged Turkey to respect the rights of its citizens - chiming with sentiment in European capitals.

It would dispense with the prime minister's post and centralise the entire executive bureaucracy under the president, giving Erdogan the direct power to appoint ministers.

The CHP yesterday called for the annulment of the referendum and said it would take its challenge to the European Court of Human Rights if necessary, after a last-minute decision by the electoral board to allow unstamped ballots.

At a news conference in Ankara, monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said the "No" campaign faced numerous obstacles including a lack of freedom of expression and access to the media, and intimidation.

On Monday, the OSCE observer mission stated that the "no" campaign did not receive equal opportunitiesas the campaign in support of the referendum, adding that voters did not receive impartial information about the key points of the proposed amendments.

"Saying the referendum fell below global standards is unacceptable", the ministry said in a statement, adding that previous "politically charged" comments from OSCE monitors showed the team arrived in Turkey with prejudice and disregarded principles of objectivity and impartiality. We did not succumb.

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday felicitated with the people and government of Turkey on the successful conclusion of the country's referendum on Monday. It has been in effect since last year's attempted coup.

About 100,000 people have been sacked from their jobs in the crackdown that followed on supporters of a US-based Islamic cleric and former Erdogan ally whom the president blamed for the attempted putsch.

Tens of thousands have been arrested or imprisoned, including politicians, judges, journalists and businessmen. It had been due to expire on 19 April.

While European leaders are viewing the referendum result with caution, the BBC reports that Qatar, Guinea, Djibouti and the Palestinian militant movement Hamas have congratulated Erdogan.

European Union aid to Turkey to help it advance towards membership was now "obsolete", he added.

"Know your place first", Erdogan told the monitors in an address to supporters outside his vast presidential palace in Ankara.

"We can conduct a vote of confidence on this as well".

The Commission said that any legislation bringing back the death penalty to Turkey, as pledged by Erdogan during his campaign, would certainly end Ankara's European Union membership bid.

"What Allah says. That's why our parliament will make this decision".

U.S. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, ignored the concerns about voting irregularities and congratulated Erdogan on his referendum victory.

The White House said they also discussed a USA missile strike in Syria and the fight against the Islamic State group.

Global observers on Monday said the referendum campaign was conducted on an "unlevel playing field".