Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

No president should congratulate a tyrant on victory


This is not our business...

The premier also slammed main opposition Republican's People Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu for urging people to take to the streets to protest the referendum results.

During Sunday's referendum, Turkish citizens supported the government-backed constitutional changes to shift to a presidential system, and therefore broaden the sitting president's powers.

A constitutional reform package seeking to introduce an executive presidency in Turkey was approved by 51.4 percent of the voters in Sunday's referendum.

Several media outlets have slammed President Donald Trump for congratulating Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on winning a referendum that will bolster his autocratic power and weaken that nation's democracy.

The vote has been criticised by opposition parties because ballot papers which were unstamped, as required by Turkish law, were included in the count. In the months before the referendum, more than a dozen HDP parliamentarians were thrown in prison on terrorism charges as were hundreds of party members. "If you're carrying out such a big change to the system, one that impacts the regime, it must be without a doubt". Ben Cardin (D-Md.) expressed concerns Tuesday about the reported irregularities in the vote, but when asked about it on PBS Newshour, declined to criticize Trump for the call. But the worldwide electoral monitor said that while the referendum's technical processes were well administered, there were key issues related to media coverage and the circumstances under which the vote occurred, such as Turkey's ongoing state of emergency enacted after a failed coup d'etat attempt a year ago. They also allow the president to appoint vice presidents, ministers and some members of the Board of Judges and prosecutors.

Turkey's main secularist opposition CHP said it will present its appeal for the annulment of Sunday's referendum.

The European Commission wants Turkey to investigate "alleged irregularities" in Sunday's referendum boosting the power of President Erdogan.

Anadolu news agency cited a statement by Istanbul Police that said the suspects were detained early Wednesday for attempting to provoke a response similar to the mass anti-government demonstrations that happened across Turkey in 2013.

Head of YSK at the parliament MP Mustafa Sentop said that European Court of Human Rights has nothing to do with the Turkish referendum.

Critics fear the changes will lead to autocratic one-man rule under Erdogan, but supporters say they simply put Turkey in line with France and the United States and are needed for efficient government.

Erdoğan reaffirmed he would now hold talks on reinstating capital punishment - a move that would automatically end Turkey's European Union bid - and would call another referendum if the bill did not get enough votes in parliament to become law.

A controversial decision by election authorities to accept ballots that lacked official stamps may have saved Erdogan from defeat, but at the price of further undermining his legitimacy.

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