U.S. President Donald Trump congratulated his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday for the latter's marginal victory in a referendum that will allow him to consolidate and extend his domestic powers.
"President Donald J. Trump spoke today with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey to congratulate him on his recent referendum victory and to discuss the United States' action in response to the Syrian regime's use of chemical weapons on April 4," read the official White House press statement.
Trump had placed the call to Erdogan despite a concomitant announcement from the U.S. State Department that it acknowledged the concerns flagged by European election monitors regarding the democratic legitimacy of the referendum, which saw a thin 51.4 percent vote in favor of the Turkish President's bid to concentrate his powers.
Indeed, while the observer mission from the 47-member Council of Europe reported no evidence of actual fraud, the prominent human rights body criticized a last minute decision by authorities to permit unstamped ballots to be counted as a contradiction of electoral law and described the legal framework as inadequate.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Commissioner Federica Mogherini said they awaited the full assessment from the international monitors.
"We encourage Turkey to address the Council of Europe's concerns and recommendations, including with regards to the State of Emergency. In view of the close referendum result and the far-reaching implications of the constitutional amendments, we also call on the Turkish authorities to seek the broadest possible national consensus in their implementation," the commissioners' added in a joint statement.