USA

Turkey's Erdogan says he's set to meet Trump in Washington

Erdogan made the comments in an interview with Al Jazeera that was broadcast on Wednesday, three days after he hailed a "Yes vote" in a referendum to amend Turkey's constitution and grant the country's presidential office new executive powers.

Turkey's Supreme Election Board (YSK) has rejected appeals from opposition parties CHP and HDP for an annulment of the April 16 referendum won narrowly and controversially by the Yes camp led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's AKP.

Worldwide monitors have also noted irregularities in the voting that resulted in a narrow win for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's "yes" camp.

Specifically, Bulent Tezcan, deputy chairman of the opposing Republican People's Party, announced the move at the Ankara offices of the electoral board.

CHP officials said they would contest the ruling at the Constitutional Court and if necessary, the European Court of Human Rights.

Preliminary referendum results gave a narrow 51.4 percent approval for the biggest overhaul of Turkey's political system since the modern state was established almost a century ago, but opposition parties said the poll was deeply flawed.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim responded by saying it was "not the democratic way to go to court, to make complaints to fix the people's decision".

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"Because, the Yes votes also became controversial through this decision", he said.

"No court can undo/change the decisions of the nation", he tweeted.

Global monitors say the electoral board's decision removed an important safeguard against fraud and was "contrary to Turkish law".

All ballot papers should have been stamped by the electoral authority before voting started to show that they were valid.

In this Tuesday, April 4, 2017 photo, a child from inside his schoolyard, peers out from behind a fence where t-shirts with the Turkish flag, and the picture of modern Turkey's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, are offered for sale in the Black Sea city of Rize, Turkey.

Demonstrations against the outcome of a referendum expanding the president's powers are continuing in Istanbul, where protesters are demanding the resignation of the election board that has refused to void the vote.

Sunday's referendum narrowly backed the largest overhaul of Turkey's political system since the founding of the republic almost a century ago, paving the way for the country's first ever executive presidency in 2019. Ataturk's grandiose mausoleum in Ankara draws foreign dignitaries, tourists with selfie sticks and schoolchildren who gaze at honor guards in steel helmets.



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