White House: Trump congratulates Erdogan after disputed win

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Donald Trump has called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (REH’-jehp TY’-ihp UR’-doh-wahn) to congratulate him on his country’s referendum expanding presidential powers.

The call comes despite concerns from international monitors and opposition parties about numerous voting irregularities. They include an electoral board decision to accept ballots that did not bear official stamps, as required by Turkish law.

The White House says Trump and Erdogan also discussed Trump’s decision to bomb a Syrian regime airfield in response to a chemical weapons attack that killed dozens. Trump thanked Erdogan for supporting the action.

Critics argue the reforms in Turkey will hand extensive power to a man with an increasingly autocratic bent and leave few checks and balances in place.

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