Trump called Turkey's Erdogan to congratulate him on referendum win - Turkish sources

Remigio Civitarese
Aprile 18, 2017

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's president, on Sunday secured victory with a narrow 51.5 percent of voters approving plans to turn the country's parliamentary system into a presidential executive, grant him extensive powers and effectively relegate parliament to a junior body.

The political opposition in the country - one of America's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies and a key partner in the fight against ISIS - has challenged the result, however, saying millions of votes should be recounted.

A handout picture taken and released on April 8, 2017 by the Turkish Presidential Press Service shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivering a speech during a campaign rally for the "yes" vote in a constitutional referendum on the Yenikapi Square in Istanbul.

"The market is likely to cheer the continuation of stability, declining chances of an early election and the tight call on the referendum that may contain any market-unfriendly moves", Ozgur Altug, chief economist at Istanbul-based BGC Partners, said.

During the campaign, Mr Erdogan repeatedly criticised European countries, including Germany and the Netherlands, accusing them of "Nazi-like" tactics for banning his ministers from speaking to rallies of Turkish voters overseas. Macron, battling to hang on to his advantage before the first round of France's presidential election on Sunday, said he sees little chance of Turkey's candidacy succeeding in any case.

Turkish voters backed a constitutional referendum that concentrates power in the hands of the president on Sunday. Erdogan has forged an increasingly conservative Muslim line in the country's politics to the chagrin of many who'd preferred Turkey's secularist past, including European nations Turkey had once sought closer relations with.

"For the first time in the history of the Republic, we are changing our ruling system through civil politics", Erdogan said, himself the target of a failed military coup a year ago.

The current president of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, tweeted on Monday that he was "very concerned" by the possibility of a referendum on reintroducing the death penalty.

The group s preliminary conclusions were also blasted by the Turkish foreign ministry as "biased" and "prejudiced". "Cooperation with #EU will become even more complex".

"Outcome shows millions of Turkish citizens share same European values", Piri tweeted.

"For 54 years, what did they make us do at the EU's door?"

Simsek and others in the ruling AKP have said that victory for the referendum would allow the government to quickly roll out investor-friendly structural reforms - such as to the labour market and the tax code - but investors have been sceptical, seeing the likelihood of more delays and policy gridlock.

Erdogan reiterated his readiness to restore the death penalty at several appearances on Monday, which would effectively end Turkey's decades-long quest to join the EU.

Meanwhile, Turkey's foreign ministry has rejected global monitors' findings on its referendum, saying it was "saddened" by what it called "politically-motivated and accusatory" statements.

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