US President Donald Trump called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to congratulate him on winning a referendum granting him sweeping new powers that exposed bitter divisions in the country.
The White House said they also discussed a US missile strike in Syria and the fight against the Islamic State group.
Trump’s congratulations on Monday were in contrast with EU leaders who have been reserved in their reaction to the narrow victory and even his own State Department, which earlier noted concerns expressed by international observers over the “uneven playing field”.
“We are receiving thousands of complaints on election fraud,” said Erdal Aksunger, the deputy head of the main opposition party, the Republican People’s Party, known as the C.H.P. “We are evaluating them one by one.”
The “Yes” camp won 51.41 percent in Sunday’s referendum, according to complete results released by election authorities.
The new system will, among other changes:
- Abolish the post of prime minister and transfer executive power to the president.
- Allow the newly empowered president to issue decrees and appoint many judges and officials responsible for scrutinizing his decisions.
- Limit the president to two five-year terms, but give the option of running for a third term if Parliament truncates the second one by calling for early elections.
- Allow the president to order disciplinary inquiries into any of Turkey’s 3.5 million civil servants, according to an analysis by the head of the Turkish Bar Association.