Published: Tue, April 18, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

This is what world leaders had to say about Turkey's referendum

This is what world leaders had to say about Turkey's referendum

Ties between Germany and Turkey plunged during the referendum campaign when Erdogan accused authorities of acting like "Nazis" by banning ministers from campaigning to Germany's huge ex-pat Turkish community. "This implies a big responsibility for the Turkish government and President Erdogan personally".

Some chanting "thief, Erdogan" and "no to the presidency" showed their anger at the Yes victory to change the constitution and grant sweeping powers to the president.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OCSE) said the Turkish referendum passed on an "unlevel playing field", and the head of OCSE said freedom of expression opposing the bill had been inhibited, while the voting procedure fell "well short" of global standards.

The Council of Europe, of which Turkey is a member, is a separate entity from the EU.

"The organisation of a referendum on the death penalty would obviously be a break with (the) values and engagements" accepted by Turkey when it joined Europe's top rights watchdog, the Council of Europe, the presidency said.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said that if Ankara were to bring back the death penalty, the move would mark the end of negotiations to enter the EU. Kurz tweeted that the result "shows how divided the country is". Given the prevalent anti-intellectualism among AKP supporters, and their suspicions about the "educated classes", expressed often by their opinion framers in various ways, it has become more apparent than ever where Erdoğan gets his base support from.

Kati Piri, a member of the European Parliament and parliamentary rapporteur on Turkey, struck a more conciliatory tone.

"For 54 years, what did they make us do at the EU's door?"

The American president also thanked Turkey for its support for US missile strikes on an Assad regime air base in retaliation for the chemical attack as both men stressed the need for cooperation on the fight against terror groups, including Daesh.

Supporters of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gather for a rally outside the Presidential Palace, in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, April 17, 2017, one day after the referendum. This could result in more social tensions in Turkey unless Erdoğan can come up with a wise and impartial leadership that reaches out to all segments of society.

After this vote, the Turks will now elect the president at the same time as parliamentary elections are held.

It also gives the president the power to appoint a cabinet and some senior judges, who are responsible for reviewing his or her decisions; allows the president to order reviews into any of Turkey's civil servants; and limits the president to two five-year terms. "As a nation we stood strong".

Turkey's longstanding bid for European Union membership was already in doubt and could be dropped for good if Erdogan follows through on suggestions to reintroduce the death penalty, which he reiterated after the referendum win. "Both the unfair campaign and the substantive reforms that will now be implemented take Turkey away from the prospect of a political alliance with the European Union".

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