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‘European courts have no jurisdiction over Turkey referendum’

Image of Turkey's Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdag delivers a speech on 3 March 2017 [Ayhan İşcen - Anadolu Agency]
Image of Turkey's Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdag delivers a speech on 3 March 2017 [Ayhan İşcen - Anadolu Agency]

Any challenge by the European Court of Human Rights against the results of the Turkish referendum would be rejected by Ankara’s constitutional court, a senior official has said.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag told television channel A Haber that Europe’s human rights court had no jurisdiction on the matter and “if the opposition takes the appeal to the constitutional court, the court has no other option than to reject it.”

Yesterday the main opposition CHP party said it was considering taking its appeal for the referendum to be annulled to the Constitutional Court of Turkey or the European Court of Human Rights after the country’s electoral authority rejected challenges by the CHP and two other parties.

Read: Turkey barely votes ‘Yes’ to sweeping presidential powers referendum

Bozdag also reiterated government criticism of a report by European election observers who said the referendum, carried out under emergency law, took place on an “unlevel playing field”.

He said the report lacked fairness and objectivity. “Those who prepared this report are partial,” he said.

Sunday’s referendum narrowly backed the largest overhaul of Turkey’s political system since the founding of the republic nearly a century ago, paving the way for the country’s first ever executive presidency in 2019.

But the tight result of a highly charged campaign laid bare divisions and triggered challenges from the opposition over its legitimacy.

Triumphant Erdogan swats away Western criticism of referendum

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) and his wife Emine Erdogan (L) greet the crowd after the results of the referendum was announced at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on April 17, 2017 [Turkish Presidency / Yasin Bulbul - Anadolu Agency]

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) and his wife Emine Erdogan (L) greet the crowd after the results of the referendum was announced at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on April 17, 2017 [Turkish Presidency / Yasin Bulbul – Anadolu Agency]

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