Turkey electoral board rejects request to annul referendum

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet Donald Trump in May, the Turkish foreign minister says, after the U.S. president congratulated the Turkish leader for winning a referendum on enhancing his powers.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said that Erdogan would be allowed to join the AKP once the official result of Sunday's referendum are announced, a vote which the government won by a wafer thin margin.

To the dismay of opposition parties and "No" supporters, the YSK made a last-minute decision on Sunday to accept ballot documents in envelopes without an official stamp.

"The main opposition party not recognising the results is not an acceptable thing", Mr Yildirim said.

Both Turkey's bar association and global election monitors from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said that the illegal move may have swung the knife-edge vote, which will give Mr Erdogan the power to appoint and fire ministers, name half the members of the country's highest judicial body, hold the leadership of a political party while in office, and possibly stay in power until 2029.

While the majority of ballots cast in Turkey's controversial referendum have now been counted, the country's opposition has made it clear they will not accept the "yes" result without a fight.

Turkey's main opposition party urged the country's electoral board Monday to cancel the results of a landmark referendum that granted sweeping new po.

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About 2,000 protesters gathered in Istanbul's Besiktas neighborhood on Wednesday evening over the referendum approving constitutional changes sought by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) had Tuesday requested the poll be scrapped due to alleged violations.

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Council of Europe observers say those irregularities could have changed the outcome of the vote.

"What matters for us is not so much the first reaction from whomever in Turkey, directed more at domestic politics, but whether the responsible Turkish authorities really deal seriously with the criticism voiced publicly by the OSCE election observer mission, which was meant seriously and researched seriously".

The U.S. response has been different, with President Donald Trump calling Erdogan shortly after the referendum to congratulate him on his win.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday a critical report by European observers on the referendum contained several mistakes which he believed were deliberate.

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