Turkish body votes against annulling referendum

Turkey's prime minister has called on the opposition to respect the result of a referendum that will expand the powers of the office of the president.

In an address to legislators from his ruling party on Tuesday, Binali Yildirim said the people had voted to switch from a parliamentary to a presidential system, adding: the "opposition should not speak after the people have spoken".

Opposition parties called for the vote to be annulled because of a series of irregularities, particularly an electoral board decision to accept ballots that didn't bear official stamps, as required by Turkish law.

Earlier, Yildirim said that "the path to seek rights" should be limited to the courts.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday congratulated in a phone call Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the positive results of the referendum on amendments to the Constitution, the Kremlin press service said, Sputnik reported.

Supporters of the "no" vote, one, holding a banner of modern Turkey's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, centre, chant slogans during a protest against the referendum outcome, in Istanbul, Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Turkey's main opposition party has filed a formal request seeking Sun.

(AP Photo/Petros Karadjias). Supporters of the "no" vote, (Hayir in Turkish) chant slogans during a protest against the referendum outcome, in Istanbul, Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

The European Commission called on Turkey on Tuesday to investigate alleged irregularities in Sunday's referendum boosting the powers of President Tayyip Erdogan and urged him to show restraint after his narrow victory.

Worldwide election observers and opposition parties have reported numerous voting irregularities during the vote which President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won by a narrow margin.

"There will be no call to Erdogan from the Commission, certainly not a congratulatory call", the official said.

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

In Ankara, hundreds of people were queuing outside the election board's offices to submit petitions requesting the board reverse its decision to accept the ballots without official stamps. "We share our report and we completed our mandate". "We will follow closely how Turkey behaves on this".

"That the Turkish leadership didn't like the criticism by the OSCE's election observer mission isn't a surprise to anyone", German Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said.

Asked to comment about Erdogan's rebuke, Ms de Zulueta said: "I don't have an opinion, we are invited by the Turkish authorities to observe".

Unlike US President Donald Trump, the European Union would not congratulate Erdogan on his triumph, a Western official with knowledge of EU policy told Reuters.

Speaking at a news conference Wednesday, Mevlut Cavusoglu said the two leaders would meet in May ahead of a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit.

  • Jon Douglas