Trump has embraced autocratic leaders without hesitation

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday he would meet USA counterpart Donald Trump in May, a month after he won a contested referendum that will tighten his grip on power.

Last month, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson became the most senior American official to visit Turkey since Trump took office in January.

The two leaders have talked on the telephone three times since Trump took office, including on Monday following Erdogan's narrow victory in a referendum on constitutional changes to give the president new powers.

Erdogan will also have his first in-person meeting with American President Donald Trump and stop in Brussels to meet various European leaders during a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit.

However, Erdogan sees a chance for improvement in relations between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies under Trump.

Ankara has accused Gullen of ordering last July's failed coup, an accusation Gulen strongly denies.

Asked about his potential future relationship with Trump, Erdogan said: "It s very early to comment".

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The Turkish government has repeatedly requested Gulen's extradition, while the Obama administration has said extradition is a lengthy, demanding legal procedure.

Before the board announced its decision, CHP spokeswoman Selin Sayek Boke said on April 19 that the Republicans might consider withdrawing from parliament.

He declared the referendum results on constitutional changes "illegitimate" and stated that the party would use all legal paths to challenge it, according to the Post.

He added the CHP meant to employ all legal ways to challenge the result, including Turkey's Constitutional Court as well as European Court of Human Rights. He particularly stressed that the matter is neither within the authority of the Turkish Constitutional Court nor within the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Bozdag said these judicial organs would "have no choice but to reject" such applications based on Turkish laws. "This is the will of the people".

But there was anger and shock after the Supreme Election Board (YSK) made a last-minute decision to accept ballot documents in envelopes without an official stamp, which the opposition argues opened the way for fraud.

Police detained 16 people in dawn raids in Istanbul on April 19.

"They want to silence the citizens of this country", said 30-year-old Sertac Babat, who believes, along with many "no" voters, that the referendum result should be voided because of voting irregularities.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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