The European Union on Tuesday urged Turkey to launch “transparent investigations” into alleged voting irregularities in the referendum granting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan extra powers.
International observers charged Monday that the referendum campaign was conducted on an “unlevel playing field” and that the vote count was marred by late procedural changes that removed key safeguards.
“We call on the Turkish authorities to consider the next steps very carefully, and to seek the broadest possible national consensus in the follow-up to the national referendum,” European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said at a press conference in Brussels.
He said such caution was needed not only because of the observers’ report but also because of the closeness of the result and what he called the “far-reaching” implications of the constitutional amendments.
“We also call on all actors to show restraint and on the authorities to launch transparent investigations into these alleged irregularities found by the observers,” Schinas said, speaking for the commission, the executive arm of the 28-nation EU.
Referring to previous remarks by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on future EU-Turkey ties, Schinas said: “We encourage Turkey to move closer to the European Union again and not to move even further and faster away from us.”
Opposition parties in Turkey have called foul on the referendum, demanding an annulment.