Donald Trump congratulates Turkey's hardline president Recep Erdogan on referendum win

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"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.

The Turkish opposition was particularly incensed by a decision by the YSK to allow voting papers without official stamps to be counted, which they said opened the way for fraud.

"Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast and its three main cities, including the capital Ankara and the largest city Istanbul, looked set to vote No, after a bitter and divisive campaign, " a local newspaper reported on Sunday.

(AP Photo/Petros Karadjias). Supporters of the "no" vote, (Hayir in Turkish) chant slogans during a protest against the referendum outcome, in Istanbul, Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

Turkish authorities should launch "transparent investigations" after worldwide observers criticized the fairness of the voting process during the recent referendum, a spokesman for the European Commission said Tuesday.

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There is a school of thought that the sweeping new powers granted by referendum to Turkey's president matter little, since Recep Tayyip Erdogan had already managed to grant himself most of those powers anyway.

Turkish election authorities said preliminary results showed 51.4 percent of voters had backed constitutional changes and giving Erdogan new powers.

Opposition parties have promised to challenge the outcome.

Meanwhile the Saudi Cabinet also congratulated Erdogan and the Turkish people on the successful referendum and said it hoped the vote would contribute to "more development and success across the country".

Turkey's main secularist opposition said it will launch an appeal against the result this afternoon.

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In an address to legislators from his ruling party on Tuesday, Binali Yildirim 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".

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An Austrian member of the Council of Europe observer mission said up to 2.5 million votes could have been manipulated, nearly double the margin of Erdogan's victory, and that the YSK decision on unstamped ballots appeared illegal. "We will follow closely how Turkey behaves on this".

But Erdogan rebuked the OSCE mission, telling the monitors: "know your place", and saying Turkey had no intention of paying any attention to the report.

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. "We will determine a date for the two presidents to meet in May before the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit as previously confirmed by the leaders", Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters in Ankara.

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According to Reuters, protesters nearby were chanting "Go Nawaz, Go Nawaz", urging the PM to gracefully exit his political office. Nawaz's staunch political opponent Imran Khan was present in the court when the verdict was announced.

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