Merkel urges Turkey to respond to report on irregularities in referendum

German Chancellor Angela Merkel addresses the lower house of parliament Bundestag in Berlin, Germany, April 27, 2017. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Turkey on Thursday to answer questions raised by European observers, who found a referendum that expanded President Tayyip Erdogan’s powers was an uneven contest.

A report by observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe found that up to 2.5 million votes could have been manipulated in the Turkish referendum that ended in a close “yes” vote.

“The Turkish government must measure itself based on this report and answer the questions raised in it,” Merkel said. “We will very carefully follow how Turkey will deal with reports over possible irregularities.”

Speaking in parliament, Merkel said the referendum had weighed on Turkey’s relationship with the European Union and Germany.

Some German conservative politicians have called on the EU to end discussions with Turkey about membership of the bloc, saying that failing to draw consequences after the referendum vote would hurt Europe.

– Reuters