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Turkish PM: Rumors of foulplay an effort to undermine referendum

Turkish PM: Rumors of foulplay an effort to undermine referendum
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Tuesday rumors of irregularities in a referendum over the weekend were a vain effort to cast doubt on the result, after the main opposition party vowed to apply for the vote to be annulled.

"The people's will has been reflected at the ballot box, and the debate is over," Yildirim told his parliamentary group. "Everyone should respect the outcome, especially the main opposition". The EU has called on the civil authorities in Turkey to launch a transparent investigation into the referendum result granting the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, sweeping new powers.

A spokesman for the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, said claims from neutral observers of election irregularities had been "examined attentively" in Brussels. "In view of the observers' report, the close referendum result and the far-reaching implications of the constitutional amendments, we call on the Turkish authorities to consider the next steps very carefully and seek the broadest possible national consensus in the follow-up to the referendum," the spokesman said.

"We call on all actors to show restraint and on the authorities to launch transparent investigations into these alleged irregularities found by the observers."

Significantly, the spokesman confirmed that neither Juncker nor the president of the European council, Donald Tusk, had spoken to Erdoğan since his victory.

In contrast, the US president, Donald Trump congratulated the Turkish president personally on the phone on Monday in a conversation in which they discussed recent developments in Syria, the US response to the chemical attack in Syria and "agreed on the importance of holding Syrian president Bashar al-Assad accountable".


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