'Astounding': Trump Salutes Fellow Authoritarian Erdoğan on Power Grab

  • 'Astounding': Trump Salutes Fellow Authoritarian Erdoğan on Power Grab

'Astounding': Trump Salutes Fellow Authoritarian Erdoğan on Power Grab

Everyone and all sections - and the main opposition party in particular- must show respect.

And the U.S. State Department released a statement Monday urging the Turkish government to "protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of all its citizens-regardless of their vote on April 16-as guaranteed by the Turkish Constitution and in accordance with Turkey's global commitments, such as under the Helsinki Charter", which requires signatory countries to uphold human rights.

Turkey's Supreme Electoral Board (YSK) made a controversial last-minute decision on April 16 to count ballots that had not been stamped by officials.

An unofficial tally carried by the country's state-run news agency gave President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's "yes" camp a narrow win.

The mission also criticised the country's High Electoral Board (YSK) decision to accept unstamped ballot papers.

"Know your place first", Erdogan told the monitors in an address to supporters outside his vast presidential palace in Ankara.

Underscoring the complicated relationship between the US and Turkey, the White House readout of Trump's call also noted the pressing issues on which the USA has tried to work with Turkey, namely fighting the Islamic State group and quelling Syria's civil war.

Unlike the Nigerian leader, the European Union on Tuesday called on Turkish authorities to launch "transparent investigations" after worldwide observers criticised the fairness of the voting process during the recent referendum. The European Commission, which unlike U.S. President Donald Trump has declined to congratulate Erdogan on Sunday's vote, called on Turkey to launch a transparent investigation into the alleged irregularities.

Media captionProtesters march through the Turkish capital calling for a recount Why are global monitors concerned?

Erdogan said Turkey could hold a referendum on the membership bid.

"There is no doubt that President Erdogan has been repeatedly elected through a democratic process, but I think the approach that they've been taking towards the press is one that could lead Turkey down a path that would be very troubling", Obama said in an April 2016 news conference.

It would dispense with the prime minister's post and centralise the entire executive bureaucracy under the president, giving Erdogan the direct power to appoint ministers.

Mr Erdogan was unfazed by the criticism as he spoke to flag-waving supporters in the capital, Ankara.

The Turkish government, however, yesterday extended a "state of emergency" for another three months.

Relations between Turkey and Europe's powerhouse nations have come under strain over Erdogan's comments that he would seek the restoration of the death penalty - a move that would sink Turkey's long-stalled bid to join the European Union.

Turkey has been an European Union candidate for decades, but its accession efforts have been all but moribund for several years.