Turkey's justice minister says contesting referendum moot

In particular, the electoral board's decision to accept ballots that didn't bear official stamps, as required by Turkish law, raised questions.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday said he would meet his United States counterpart Donald Trump in Washington on May 16-17, in their first meeting since Trump took office in January.

Any challenge by the European Court of Human Rights against the results of the Turkish referendum would be rejected by Ankara's constitutional court, a senior official has said. It goes like this: become prime minister, then switch to president and boost your powers by tinkering with the constitution.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said a "lack of equal opportunities, one-sided media coverage and limitations on fundamental freedoms" had created an "unlevel playing field" in Turkey's vote.

Turkish opposition party CHP said it would appeal against a decision not to launch an investigation into alleged irregularities in last weekend's constitutional referendum, Reuters reported Friday.

Held under a state of emergency in place since a failed coup last July, it was criticized by European election observers who said the decision to allow unstamped ballot papers to be counted had removed a main safeguard against voting fraud.




Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, whose post will cease to exist once Erdogan's all-powerful presidency proposed under the referendum comes into effect, said everyone had a right to complain - but it would not change the outcome.

"Calling people to the streets by using various communication channels and refusing to recognize the results is never acceptable", Yildirim said. "It is not right to correct the decision of the people by complaining to the courts".

Worldwide monitors say that the electoral board's decision removed an important safeguard against fraud and was "contrary to law". The electoral board, however, published past rulings on the validity of unstamped ballots.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, April 17, 2017.

Unofficial results show Erdogan's "yes" campaign garnered 51.4 percent of the vote.

Voters narrowly approved a set of constitutional reforms that will transform the country from a parliamentary democracy into a presidential republic, concentrating power in the hands of Erdo─čan, who will be able to run for two more terms and potentially govern until 2029.

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