Turkey's premier calls on opposition to respect referendum

A man and a boy sit at a stall in the main market with a flag showing Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in the background in Istanbul Monday

Defending President Trump's decision to congratulate Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan following Sunday's controversial referendum win, a White House spokeswoman said Tuesday "the president's number one job is to keep Americans safe". Another petitioner, Fusun Cicekoglu, 61, said, "I will not accept my "no" vote be voided and I will not accept "yes" ballots cast illegally".

"Therefore we do not have any difficulties on that front", Erdogan said.

Turkey's prime minister says opposition parties have the right to file objections to the outcome of a recent referendum on expanding presidential powers.

The pro-Kurdish opposition HDP filed an appeal on Wednesday for an annulment on the grounds there had been widespread violations, a day after a similar move by the main opposition CHP.

But Bulent Tezcan, deputy chairman of the CHP, told reporters Monday that the party would appeal to the European Court of Human Rights if the electoral body didn't void Sunday's referendum result. "The will of the people was freely reflected into the ballot boxes and this business is over".

Republican People's Party leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu accused the electoral board of bias and of favoring the governing party.

Mesut Gecgel, one of the people detained in early morning raids, said on Twitter that he had been targeted by police for inciting people to protest and saying that the results were illegitimate. Hundreds of people are queuing in front of Turkey's election board in cap.

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Turkey voted on Sunday to switch to a presidential system, greatly increasing Erdogan's powers.

In a statement on Monday morning, the YSK said the ballot papers and envelopes brought by some citizens from outside were produced by the YSK and they are authentic.

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

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

Trump telephoned Erdogan on Monday to "congratulate" him on "his referendum victory" and to discuss last week's USA cruise missile strike on Syria and cooperation in the campaign there against the Islamic State, a White House statement said.

Prime Minister and AKP leader Binali Yildirim said Erdogan can rejoin the party he founded in 2001 once official results - expected before the end of the month - are announced.

Speaking at a news conference, Cavusoglu said U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will finalize the date according to the two presidents' schedules.

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