Merkel calls Erdogan to "respectful dialogue" in Turkey

"The tight referendum result shows how deeply divided Turkish society is, and that means a big responsibility for the Turkish leadership and for President Erdogan personally".

The call comes amid concerns raised by worldwide monitoring groups and local opposition over the vote, which will grant Mr Erdogan with sweeping new powers. He said the party would use all legal paths to challenge the vote. "We have made this history together", he said. In a statement, the foreign ministry said that the observer mission's findings that Sunday's referendum procedures "fell short" of worldwide standards "were unacceptable".

That drew a harsh rebuke from Erdogan and criticism from Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.

Gulnur Aybet appeared on Sky News to shut down claims of manipulation and irregularities at the ballot box.

"Everyone should respect the outcome, especially the main opposition", he added. But yes voters say the people have spoken, and the opposition should drop its complaints about the vote and move on.

While the OSCE refused to be drawn in on whether the shortcomings and difficulties it highlighted were enough to affect the outcome of the vote, its assessment will likely embolden the opposition and add to growing global concern. "People took to social media saying, 'This can't hold, you can't change the counting rules in the middle of the election'".

The Opposition was particularly incensed by a decision by the YSK to allow voting papers without official stamps to be counted, which they said opened the way for fraud.

She told the news channel: "I think the observers really need to do some better explaining with examples about the report because, for example, they cited that some people had been unable to vote as one of the irregularities that they saw".

The European Commission called on Turkey on Tuesday to investigate "alleged irregularities" in Sunday's referendum boosting the powers of President Tayyip Erdogan.

The new system is due to come into effect after elections in November 2019. Other changes are to be implemented sooner, including scrapping a requirement that the president not be a member of any political party.

This would allow Erdogan to rejoin the governing AK Party he co-founded, or to lead it.

The referendum was seen as crucial not just for shaping the political system of Turkey but also the future strategic direction of a nation that has been a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member since 1952 and an European Union hopeful for half a century. "The Supreme Election Board issued instructions late in the day that significantly changed the validity criteria, undermining an important safeguard and contradicting the law", observed Cezar Florin Preda of the monitoring group at the Ankara press conference.

The White House released a read out of the call later Monday night, listing the same talking points. "We share our report and we completed our mandate".

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