Trump congratulates Erdogan on controversial Turkey referendum

Trump congratulates Erdogan on controversial Turkey referendum

Donald Trump has congratulated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his victory in Sunday’s referendum that gave him sweeping new powers.

The US President’s phone call contrasts with European concern that the result – 51.4% in favour of the changes – has exposed deep splits in Turkish society.

The White House said Trump and Erdogan also discussed counter-terrorism tactics and “the need to cooperate against all groups that use terrorism to achieve their ends” of defeating the Islamic State. The Turkish government confirmed the conversation in a statement Monday.

Mr Erdogan has rejected criticism from international monitors who said he had been favoured by an “unequal campaign”.

The main opposition party is launching an appeal to invalidate the result.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the European Commission warned that the “tight referendum result shows how deeply divided Turkish society is” and called on Erdogan to take responsibility for all citizens.

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