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38 detained in Turkey for questioning legitimacy of referendum result

20 Avril 2017

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

During Sunday's vote, about 51.35 per cent backed the constitutional changes, compared to 48.65 per cent for the "no" side.

The Republican People's Party, or CHP, called for the vote on the referendum to be annulled citing a series of irregularities, particularly an electoral board decision to accept ballots that didn't bear official stamps, as required by Turkish law. He said the party would use all legal paths to challenge the vote.

Erdogan made the comments in an interview with Al Jazeera that was aired on Wednesday, three days after he hailed a "Yes vote" in a referendum to amend Turkey's constitution and grant the country's presidential office new executive powers.

But even the State Department managed to show some spine in response to Erdogan's dubious triumph, calling on Turkey to uphold human rights, "as guaranteed by the Turkish Constitution and in accordance with Turkey's global commitments".

Meanwhile, global monitors with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) raised concerns over a decision by the electoral board to accept ballots that did not have official stamps, as required by Turkish law, which critics said could amount to election fraud.

Venezuelan opposition calls for more mass protests
Government supporters in Caracas are also rallying in big numbers. "Do not hesitate for a second", he urged Monday. Unidad Venezuela, a coalition of opposition parties, also organized marches in each of the country's 24 states.

The new system takes effect at the next election, now slated for November 2019.

Opposition CHP head Kemal Kilicdaroglu accused the electoral board of bias and of favoring the governing party.

Erdogan said that a huge number of Turkish voters took part in the referendum.

He noted the concerns raised by European election observers in a preliminary assessment, which found that the conduct of the vote and campaign may not have been even-handed.

Mr Erdogan himself also harshly rebuked critics in a speech to supporters on the steps of his palace on Monday.

The Turkish government said in a press release that Trump called Erdogan to congratulate him on the win and to thank him for supporting the United States' missile strike on a Syrian air base earlier this month. In contrast with European leaders, US President Donald Trump has congratulated the Turkish president, hours after the US state department mentioned concerns by global observers and urged Turkey to respect the rights of its citizens - chiming with sentiment in European capitals.