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Will death penalty be the death knell for EU-Turkey talks?

22 April 2017

The European Commission has called on Turkey to launch an investigation into allegations of voting irregularities following a report stating its referendum was not genuinely democratic.

Anti-government demonstrators shout slogans during a protest in the Kadikoy district of Istanbul, Turkey, April 17, 2017.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan greets his supporters in Istanbul, Turkey, April 16, 2017.

The move comes despite protests from opposition parties and global monitoring groups - as well as Trump's own State Department - about voting irregularities during Sunday's referendum.

But even the State Department managed to show some spine in response to Erdogan's dubious triumph, calling on Turkey to uphold human rights, "as guaranteed by the Turkish Constitution and in accordance with Turkey's worldwide commitments".

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Global observers on Monday echoed some of the opposition concerns, enraging Erdogan.

Yakupoglu says his party won't give up on "no" voters who opposed the changes and whose ballots were estimated to account for 48.6 percent of those cast.

"All we want is justice", a young protester said, as others chanted, "It is not over!" "Before our administration took over, there had been many decisions approving the validity of unstamped ballots".

"It is clear that the High Electoral Board is not receiving its power from the people, the law or the constitution, but rather from a specific center, a specific political authority", Kilicdaroglu told his party's lawmakers in Ankara Tuesday.

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Before the announcement, Prime Minister Binali Yildrim said the opposition had the right to file objections but said that calling for street protests was unacceptable. He said the party would use all legal paths to challenge the vote. He added that "we expect the main opposition party's leader to act more responsibly".

President Erdogan has claimed victory in the race on empowering his office, with state media saying the "yes" camp garnered 51.4 per cent of the vote.

Opposition parties, the Turkish bar association and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe monitoring group have said the referendum fell short of global standards.

A few hours earlier, Spicer said during a press briefing that the USA will wait until the worldwide commission of election monitors completes its report: "Before we start getting into their government system, let this commission get through its work".

On Monday, Peskov told reporters that the Kremlin sees the referendum as "absolutely a sovereign affair of the Turkish Republic", and called to respect the choice made by Turkey at Sunday's referendum on expanding presidential powers.

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Will death penalty be the death knell for EU-Turkey talks?