Donald Trump congratulates Erdogan after Turkey referendum win


President Donald Trump on Monday congratulated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the controversial referendum over the weekend that granted him sweeping new powers amid accusations of human rights violations.

The "Yes" camp won 51.41 percent in Sunday's referendum.

The chairman of Turkey's main opposition party said he had lost faith in the country's justice system, as his party appealed to the central election authority on Tuesday to annul the government's narrow win in last weekend's constitutional referendum. In an address to politicians from his ruling party, he said the people had voted to switch from a parliamentary to a presidential system, adding: "The opposition should not speak after the people have spoken".

According to the spokesperson for the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, the call came after Turkey rejected worldwide observers' criticism of the referendum on Sunday.

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The vote has been criticised by opposition parties because ballot papers which were unstamped, as required by Turkish law, were included in the count.

Electoral board head Sadi Guven said the objections would be evaluated later on Wednesday. Most of the changes come into effect after the next elections, scheduled for 2019, even though holding early elections would not be out of the question.

"That the Turkish leadership didn't like the criticism by the OSCE's election observer mission isn't a surprise to anyone", German Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said.

But he said the AKP would not hold a party congress until 2018, indicating Erdogan would not officially become its leader until then.

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"The main opposition party not recognising the results is not an acceptable thing", Mr Yildirim said.

"We call on the Turkish authorities to consider the next steps very carefully and to seek the broadest possible national consensus in the follow-up to the referendum", Schinas said. Sunday's referendum ends debate on forging a stronger presidency, he told supporters.

Sanders said that the president was not supporting or accepting the results of the referendum, congratulating Erdogan more as a formality, and that the phone call did not signal an endorsement or acceptance of the voting results. In addition to discussing Erdoğan's win, the two leaders spoke about the recent US strike against a Syrian air base, which Trump thanked Erdoğan for supporting, and the continuing fight against the Islamic State (ISIS).

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