Trump congratulates Erdogan after contentious win

by Abel Hampton April 20, 2017, 0:27
Trump congratulates Erdogan after contentious win

The preliminary results among Turks living in the country showed 51.18 percent voting in favor and 48.82 against constitutional reforms for the creation of a presidential system of government.

The Turkish parliament approved on April 18 a three-month extension of a state of emergency that was declared after a failed coup attempt past year.

President Donald Trump called Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to congratulate him on his referendum victory, a sharp departure from the critical reception some European officials have given to the vote to expand Erdogan's powers. He specializes in contemporary Europe and the Middle East.

Turkey said in a press release that Trump offered Erdo─čan his congratulations and also thanked him for supporting the recent USA airstrike against the regime of Syrian leader Bashar Assad.

In its statement, the U.S. state department said: "We look to the government of Turkey to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of all its citizens, regardless of their vote on April 16th, as guaranteed by the Turkish constitution and in accordance with Turkey's worldwide commitments, such as under the Helsinki Charter".

"The German federal government expects the Turkish government to seek respectful dialogue with all political and societal powers in the nation after a tough referendum campaign", the statement from Merkel and German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel read. "Would we? What did England do - they did Brexit, right?"

The referendum allows Erdogan, who has ruled Turkey since he became prime minister in 2003 and then president in 2014, to fulfill his long-held ambition for a presidency with executive powers.

London [U.K.], April 18: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday rejected the criticism by worldwide monitors of a referendum, which would see the country switch from the Parliamentary to the Presidential system.

Kilicdaroglu said he respected the nation's will but the decision on unsealed ballots had overshadowed the results.

Supporters of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan celebrate in Istanbul, Turkey April 16, 2017.

Bulent Tezcan, deputy head of the CHP demanded the referendum be reheld, saying that would be the "only decision that will end the debate about the legitimacy" and ease people's concerns.

The changes to Turkey's executive branches of government proposed under the referendum will effectively abolish the position of prime minister, and turn the president's now largely ceremonial role into an active one. The brief statement does note that Trump thanked the Turkish leader for supporting the recent USA strike in response to the Syrian regime's use of chemical weapons.

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

The president's ruling AK party argues that Turkey's current fragile economic and security situation needs strong leadership.

Former Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans, who spent four days in Turkey as an official global monitor, said there was clear evidence of the campaign being one-sided.


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