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Trump pledges help for Turkey on Syria

Trump pledges help for Turkey on Syria”

Ignoring concerns raised by worldwide monitoring groups and his own State Department, President Trump called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday to congratulate him on the country's contested referendum greatly expanding presidential powers.

Turkey should "consider the next steps very carefully", an European Union spokesman said.

Turkey's minister for European Union affairs lashed out at what he called politically motivated comments against the national electoral board's decision to accept unstamped ballots in Sunday's referendum.

European officials have deplored the concentration of so much power in one person's hands, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has faulted the election process.

His prime minister - whose post is being abolished under the changes - said "rumours of irregularities" were an effort to cast a shadow over the result. "The will of the people was freely reflected into the ballot boxes and this business is over". The main opposition CHP alleges that as many as one-and-a-half million unstamped ballots could have been used, more than the winning margin in the referendum. "It is wrong to speak after the people have spoken". Opponents accuse him of leading a drive toward one-man rule in Turkey, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member that borders Iran, Iraq and Syria and whose stability is of vital importance to the United States and the European Union.

Similar queues are also reported in front of an election board office in Istanbul.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, delivers a speech during a rally of supporters a day after the referendum, outside the Presidential Palace, in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, April 17, 2017.

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The new system takes effect at the next election, now slated for November 2019. Other changes are to be implemented sooner, including scrapping a requirement that the president not be a member of any political party. Guven said he did not know how numerous ballots were used, and admitted he made the decision after consulting with the ruling AK Party.

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

"We will invite our founding chairman to our party and we will feel a huge elation to see him among us", he said.

"We discussed the contents of the report", Tana de Zulueta, head of the OSCE observation mission, told reporters.

Mr. Erdogan, speaking from his official residence in Istanbul on Sunday, said the referendum had closed the door on Turkey's long history of military intervention in government.

At a briefing Monday, press secretary Sean Spicer was asked what Trump would like to see the Turkish president do, to which he responded, "I think we'd rather not get ahead of that report and start to make decisions without knowing". And then there was President Donald Trump, who called Erdoğan to congratulate him on the win.



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