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Win claimed for Turkey govt referendum critics call fraud

first_imgISTANBUL — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared victory in Sunday’s referendum that will grant sweeping powers to the presidency, hailing the result as a “historic decision.”Speaking to reporters in Istanbul, Erdogan said unofficial results showed the “yes” side had won by a margin of 1.3 million votes.The president struck a conciliatory tone, thanking all voters regardless of how they cast their ballots and describing the referendum as a “historic decision.”“April 16 is the victory of all who said yes or no, of the whole 80 million, of the whole of Turkey of 780,000-square kilometers,” Erdogan said.Returns carried by the state-run Anadolu news agency showed that with nearly 99 percent of the vote counted, the “yes” vote had about 51.3 percent compared to 48.7 percent for the “no” vote.Turkey’s main opposition party vowed to challenge the results reported by Anadolu agency, saying they were skewed.Erdogan has long sought to broaden his powers, but a previous attempt failed after the governing party that he co-founded fell short of enough votes to pass the reforms without holding a referendum.last_img read more

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