being misused, international monitors say.
The vote itself was marred by late procedural changes, the Organization for Security and Co-
operation in Europe (OSCE) added.
In the referendum, voters gave sweeping new powers to President Erdogan.
The narrow vote was ruled valid by Turkey's electoral body, despite claims of irregularities by the
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's push for an executive presidency succeeded with 51.4% voting for
Despite saying that the voting day was "well administered", the OSCE criticised the campaign, saying:
It was an "unlevel playing field" and the two sides of the campaign "did not have equal
It was unbalanced due to the active involvement of the president and several senior officials
It was tarnished by a number of senior officials equating No supporters with terrorist sympathisers
Administrative resources were misused
Under the state of emergency, essential fundamental freedoms were curtailed
They also criticised a late change by electoral officials that allowed voting papers without official
stamps to be counted. They said this move "removed an important safeguard and were contested by
The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has demanded a recount of 60% of the votes.
Its deputy head said the result should be annulled altogether. And the pro-Kurdish Peoples'
Democratic Party (HDP) also challenged the vote.
But the head of Turkey's electoral body, Sadi Guven, said the unstamped ballot papers had been
produced by the High Electoral Board and were valid. He said a similar procedure had been used in
From biased media coverage to a misuse of administrative resources by the president and
government; and from restrictions on free speech to a decision to accept unstamped ballots, which
"contradicted the law"; the election observers concluded that the referendum did not fulfil
international standards. So what now?
It's sure to embolden the opposition in its attempts to challenge the results. But that is an uphill
struggle in a country where the state machinery is so heavily controlled by the president and his
inner circle and where around 80% of the media is pro-government, pushing its interpretation of the
What's more certain is that it'll shape the response to the referendum by European leaders and
officials. They won't rush to congratulate a victory whose legitimacy has been placed in serious
doubt. And as government supporters double down, convinced of their win, the chasm between
Turkey and the west shows no sign of narrowing.