Turkey referendum: Protests continue in Turkish cities

A man and a boy sit at a stall in the main market with a flag showing Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in the background in Istanbul Monday

The placards reads in Turkish: "No we will win".

Turkey has been under a state of emergency since a failed coup attempt last summer.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday angrily rejected criticism by worldwide monitors of a referendum granting him extra powers that was disputed by the opposition and exposed bitter divisions in the country. Hundreds of demonstrators marched in a central neighbourhood, clanking pots and pans and chant.

Thousands took to the streets of Istanbul on Monday evening to protest the results, with some holding banners which read "No has won", referring to the referendum's "no" votes.

"The referendum is a sovereign affair of the Republic of Turkey".

Turkey's main opposition party has filed a formal request seeking the referendum to be annulled because of voting irregularities.

In response, CHP Deputy Chairman Bulent Tezcan said his party was looking at taking its appeal to Turkey's Constitutional Court or to the European Court of Human Rights. In an address to politicians from his ruling party, he said the people had voted to switch from a parliamentary to a presidential system, adding: "The opposition should not speak after the people have spoken".

According to a statement by his spokesperson, Mr. Buhari said he "believes the referendum showcases the democratic credentials of the country and reflects a willingness of the Turkish people to live together and jointly pursue a better future". Similar queues were also reported in front of an election board office in Istanbul.

President Trump sprang ahead of Western leaders by congratulating Turkey's hardline president on his controversial referendum victory - just as an official British observer denounced it as "rigged".

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The Council of Europe's observer mission said as many as 2.5 million votes might have been compromised and if so, the election result would have been changed.

Anti-referendum protests in Turkey.

He said such caution was needed not only because of the observers' report but also because of the closeness of the result and what he called the "far-reaching" implications of the constitutional amendments.

Trump and Erdogan spoke via phone on Monday in a pre-arranged call, in which the US President offered congratulatory words, as well as discussing topics such as the ongoing conflict in Syria.

Opposition parties have promised to challenge the outcome. He accused the board of "changing the rules midgame".

Opponents of the reforms, which grant sweeping powers to the presidency, claim there were irregularities and possible fraud on election day, pointing in particular to the election commission's decision allowing unsealed ballots to be counted. Erdoğan said Turkey, a candidate country to join the European Union, had been unduly left waiting outside the bloc."Turkey is not their scapegoat".

The two leaders also discussed Turkey's support of the USA response to a Syrian chemical weapons attack and efforts to counter the Islamic State group, according to the White House summary of their phone call Monday.

The EU's executive arm warned Ankara that restoring the death penalty would be a "red line".

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