Petitions to cancel Turkey referendum result rejected by electoral board

Miranda GreerApr 24, 2017

Turkish police have detained 16 leftist activists involved in protests against the result of a recent referendum on the expansion of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's powers, a lawyer says.

The European Commission said it has "taken note and examined attentively" the OSCE's report.

The Turkish president's latest remarks followed his earlier statements on Wednesday that "The way President Trump is approaching matters is encouraging, makes us happy".

Erdogan has dismissed the criticism from the observers, telling the monitors to "know your place".

As director of the History Institute at the Center for Strategic Studies of Turkey, Professor Kamal Cicek noted, the referendum showed that the system that existed since 1923 is now gone.

The head of Turkey's Supreme Election Council (YSK) head has given assurances that the objections to Sunday's referendum results will be evaluated.

Turkish-European relations have become increasingly strained amid concerns over Mr Erdogan's human rights record and diplomatic spats over campaigning rules for expatriate Turks living in Germany and the Netherlands ahead of the weekend's vote.

The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) said they would challenge the results from most ballot boxes due to alleged violations.

Kilicdaroglu said he respected the nation's will but criticized the board's decision to allow unsealed ballots. But by effectively ending Ankara's decades-long European Union accession bid, it could be a tough sell to the millions of Turks in bustling port cities, trade and tourist hubs who voted "No" in Sunday's vote.

On Monday, protesters took to the streets in at least three suburbs of Istanbul and thousands protesters were shouting "thief, murderer, Erdogan" while banging pots and pans.

Yes, Turkey is a potentially useful ally against ISIS and other terrorists, as well as Iran.

Worldwide observers charged on 17 April that the referendum campaign was conducted on an "unlevel playing field" and that the vote count was "marred by late procedural changes that removed key safeguards".

"We do not recognise the referendum result", said CHP spokeswoman Selin Sayek Böke.

To the dismay of opposition parties and "No" supporters, the YSK made a last-minute decision on Sunday to accept ballot papers in envelopes without an official stamp.

End of the EU Bid?

The referendum results cement a yearslong effort by Erdogan - who has served as President since 2014, following almost a decade as Prime Minister - to consolidate his position.

Gulen is accused of ordering last July's failed coup and Ankara has repeatedly called for his extradition. There were also signs of a looming crisis with the EU.

Erdogan rejected accusations that the new powers were aimed at personal gain rather than improving Turkey's political system.

The plan, put forward by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), gives Erdogan sweeping and largely unchecked powers, including appointing members of the top judicial body, top public officials, ministers and assign one or several Vice Presidents.

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