Tabnak – One day after the results of a nationwide referendum in Turkey showed a narrow support for President Erdogan’s plans to change the constitution, domestic and international reactions are pointing to the hard task he faces to direct the country toward his desired path.
At home, the Republican People's Party (CHP), one of the main Turkish opposition parties, announced an intention to challenge the results of Sunday's referendum on constitutional changes, Erdal Aksunger, the party's deputy chairman, said.
Aksunger said that the CHP have objections on the vote counting regarding 37 percent of polling stations, adding that the number of disputable polling stations could reach some 60 percent, Sputnik reported.
"We have objections concerning 37 percent of polling stations... and the number of disputable polling stations may reach 60 percent," Aksunger told reporters.
At the same time, Top European officials have reacted to the recent referendum in Turkey by calling on Ankara to choose its next steps carefully and seek broader consensus in implementing constitutional reforms.
Pointing to the referendum, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in a joint statement called "on the Turkish authorities to seek the broadest possible national consensus” in the implementation of the reforms.
Also reacting to the referendum, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Erdogan to engage in "respectful dialog” with all groups in the country.
"The (German) government expects that the Turkish government will now seek respectful dialog with all political and social forces in the country, after this tough election campaign,” Merkel said in a statement issued jointly with Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel.
Among the others, Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said the result was a "clear signal against the European Union". The "fiction" of Turkey's bid to join the bloc must be ended, he said. Julia Klöckner, a leading voice in Angela Merkel's German CDU party said the door to EU accession was "well and truly shut" and called for billions of euros in contributions to finance Turkey's bid to stop.
The reforms devised by Erdogan will change Turkey’s parliamentary system into a presidential one; the office of the prime minister will be abolished; the president will appoint the cabinet and an undefined number of vice-presidents, and will be able to select and remove senior civil servants without parliamentary approval.
According to the Anadolu news agency, supporters of the constitutional amendments expanding presidential powers are gaining 51.4 percent of votes.
It should be noted that among the foreign reactions, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said the Islamic Republic respects the outcome of Turkish people’s vote in Sunday’s constitutional referendum and hopes that it will lead to peace and stability in the neighboring country.
"This an internal issue (in Turkey) and we will respect whatever the people vote for,” Qassemi said. He further emphasized that in order to see the referendum’s effects patience is needed.