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Turkey's Erdogan says he's set to meet Trump in Washington

21 Avril 2017

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he is set to meet with US President Donald Trump in Washington on May 16 or May 17.

A White House statement issued after they talked Monday said "President Trump thanked President Erdogan for supporting this action by the United States" - a reference to a USA missile strike April 7 on a Syrian airfield.

Preliminary referendum results gave a narrow 51.4 percent approval for the biggest overhaul of Turkey's political system since the modern state was established almost a century ago, but opposition parties said the poll was deeply flawed.

Ankara has accused Gullen of ordering last July's failed coup, an accusation Gulen strongly denies.

Asked about his potential future relationship with Trump, Erdogan said: "It's very early to comment".

But he appeared upbeat about the prospects, saying the two had already spoken three times by phone.

"We have an advantage".

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Indicating that major meetings with European Union leaders were not now on the agenda, Erdogan said his schedule for trips after the referendum also included Russian Federation and India.

The Turkish government has repeatedly requested Gulen's extradition, while the Obama administration has said extradition is a lengthy, demanding legal procedure.

Turkey's election authority on Wednesday rejected opposition requests to cancel the referendum result. He particularly stressed that the matter is neither within the authority of the Turkish Constitutional Court nor within the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) had claimed major ballot rigging swung the result.

Following this decision, the CHP said it would not recognize the result of the plebiscite and would "explore every opportunity" to overrun it, mentioning in particular that it could file a complaint to the Turkish Constitutional Court and the ECHR.

Addressing the CHP, he said: "You will not get anything out of this".

With Turkish police beginning to crack down on those who have called for demonstrations over the result, left-wing website sendika.org said its editor-in-chief Ali Ergin Demirhan was held in a pre-down raid on its offices. "The YSK makes a decision on these issues and it ends", he told reporters on Friday. In all, a total of 38 arrest warrants were issued.

Turkey's bar association said this week that the last-minute decision by the YSK electoral board to allow the unstamped ballots was clearly against the law, prevented proper records being kept, and may have impacted the results.

Turkey's Erdogan says he's set to meet Trump in Washington