Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition appeals for annulment of referendum

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 margin of victory for the "Yes" vote was razor-thin.

That also sparked protests from individuals who opposed constitutional changes granting Erdogan strengthened executive powers and who formed long queues to submit their petitions.

The pro-Kurdish opposition HDP, which had appealed along with the CHP for the referendum to be annulled, said the late decision by the electoral board to allow unstamped ballots meant it was impossible to determine how many invalid or fake votes may have been counted.

Turkey's state-run news agency says 19 people were detained in Istanbul for allegedly using the results of a constitutional referendum as an "excuse" to organize "unauthorized demonstrations".

Worldwide observers from the OSCE and the Council of Europe rights watchdog denounced the move, saying it "removed an important safeguard".

(AP Photo/Petros Karadjias). Supporters of the "no" vote, (Hayir in Turkish) chant slogans during a protest against the referendum outcome, in Istanbul, Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

Demirdogen said those detained were being questioned at police headquarters in Istanbul and were awaiting a decision by prosecutors on the case.

He said that Ankara would "ignore its [the report's] claims".

"But there's no such crime definition in the penal code".

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, speaking on CNN Turk, urged the opposition Wednesday to drop its challenge.

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"I call on people not to give in to provocations or get caught up in incitement".

AFP also said that showing no sign of pulling his punches, Erdogan said Turkey could hold further referendums on its European Union bid and re-introducing the death penalty.

"The legal framework. remained inadequate for the holding of a genuinely democratic referendum", the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe monitors said in a statement.

He also said Turkey could hold further referendums on its bid to join the European Union and on reintroducing the death penalty.

Turkey's leading satirical weekly Penguen meanwhile took a light-hearted but cutting look at the situation by printing a blank cover. Opposition parties have complained of a series of irregularities, particularly an electoral board decision to accept ballots without official stamps, as required by Turkish law.

EU Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said on Tuesday that if Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan moved "from rhetoric to action on the issue of the death penalty (it) would be clear signal that Turkey does not want to be a member of the European family".

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

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Erdogan and Trump would meet in person next month, before a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit.

In another apparent contrast to Trump's congratulations of Erdogan, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said on Monday that the official administration position would reflect the outcome of an ongoing assessment by an global commission into the validity of the referendum, not expected until next week.

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