European Union urges 'transparent investigations' into Turkey referendum results

Responding to the results, Mr. Erdogan said Turkey had made a historic decision in backing an executive presidential system, adding that the "Yes" camp had secured 25 million referendum votes, 1.3 million ahead of "No".

In a blow to the prestige of the president, the "No" campaign notched up the most votes in Turkey's three biggest cities of Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir.

The European Commission has called on Turkey to launch an investigation into allegations of voting irregularities following a report stating its referendum was not genuinely democratic.

(AP Photo/Petros Karadjias). People walk in central Istanbul's Taksim Square, Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - Turkey's prime minister on Tuesday called on the opposition to respect the result of a referendum that will give sweeping new powers to the office of the president.

The European Union on Tuesday urged Turkey to launch "transparent investigations" into alleged voting irregularities in the referendum granting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan extra powers.

Turkish election authorities said preliminary results showed 51.4 percent of voters had backed constitutional changes and giving Erdogan new powers.

The mission of observers from the 47-member Council of Europe, the continent's leading human rights body, said the referendum was an uneven contest.

Opposition parties have promised to challenge the outcome.

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That drew a harsh rebuke from Erdogan and criticism from Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.

Ties between the United States and Turkey have deteriorated sharply since a failed military coup in July and disagreements over USA support for a Kurdish militia group fighting Islamic State in Syria.

Meanwhile the Saudi Cabinet also congratulated Erdogan and the Turkish people on the successful referendum and said it hoped the vote would contribute to "more development and success across the country".

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

Trump also told Erdogan he cared about the friendship between Turkey and the United States, and noted there were important things to do together.

"Erdogan, whose narrow victory laid bare the nation's divisions, told flag-waving supporters that foreign election observers should "know their place" and Turkey did not "see, hear or acknowledge" criticism that the vote did not live up to worldwide standards", reported Reuters.

The seal, required under election rules, is meant to prevent fraud.

A senior official with the Trump administration said the President did not raise any concerns about the referendum with Erdogan, describing that part of the phone call as a "simple congrats".

The two leaders will meet in May, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a press conference carried by CNN Turk on Wednesday. Cavusoglu said that he and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson would finalize the date according to the two presidents' schedules.

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