Erdogan insists Turkey reforms don't make him a dictator — CNN Exclusive


Turkey voted on Sunday to switch to a presidential system, greatly increasing Erdogan's powers. Those included the fact that numerous HDP leaders are still detained over alleged links to the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK).

Hundreds of Turkish citizens also lined up outside election board offices in Ankara and Istanbul on Tuesday, to submit petitions requesting the board to reverse its declaration following the referendum results. Hundreds of people are queuing in front of Turkey's election board in cap.

People walk in central Istanbul's Taksim Square, Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

"This referendum will forever remain controversial", he told reporters.

Turkey's electoral authority on Wednesday rejected appeals to annul a referendum granting President Tayyip Erdogan wide new powers, but the main opposition CHP party said it would maintain its legal challenge to the result.

The country's high electoral board announced in a statement they had ruled 10-1 against the move.

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But Binali Yildirim warned that calling for street protests was unacceptable.

Both Turkey's bar association and global election monitors from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said that the illegal move may have swung the knife-edge vote, which will give Mr Erdogan the power to appoint and fire ministers, name half the members of the country's highest judicial body, hold the leadership of a political party while in office, and possibly stay in power until 2029.

However, thousands continued to protest Sunday's referendum, which has set into motion the transformation of Turkey's system of government from a parliamentary to a presidential one that would give more power to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

According to unofficial results of the April 16 constitutional referendum, the "Yes" campaign won with 51.41 per cent, while the "No" votes stood at 48.59 per cent.

A prosecutor will now consider whether to press charges against Guven.

Alfano said Italy takes note of the referendum outcome and is awaiting the "final evaluation of the observers" by global monitoring bodies.

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Speaking at a press conference in Brussels, the commission's spokesman added: "As far as the future is concerned, as President Juncker has said in the past, we encourage Turkey to move closer to the European Union again and not to move even further and faster away from us".

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

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday a critical report by European observers on the referendum contained several mistakes which he believed were deliberate.

Unlike European leaders who expressed reservations about the referendum, US President Donald Trump telephoned Erdogan to congratulate him.

"Look, the Middle East is a pretty rough neighborhood, and sometimes you have to get together to help them beat the bullies, like Syria", Sanders said.

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The "no" campaign said it faced intimidation and threats of violence, while opposition figures and journalists were jailed. Opposition CHP head Kemal Kilicdaroglu accused the electoral board of bias and of favouring the governing party.