Triumphant Erdogan swats away Western criticism of referendum

Triumphant Erdogan swats away Western criticism of referendumBy Gulsen Solaker, Tuvan Gumrukcu and Daren Butler ANKARA/ISTANBUL (Reuters) – A defiant Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan denounced the West’s “crusader mentality” on Monday after European monitors criticized a referendum in which he won sweeping new powers. Erdogan, whose narrow victory laid bare the nation’s divisions, told flag-waving supporters that foreign election observers should “know their place” and Turkey did not “see, hear or acknowledge” criticism that the vote did not live up to international standards. Opponents accuse him of leading a drive toward one-man rule in Turkey, a NATO member that borders Iran, Iraq and Syria and whose stability is of vital importance to the United States and European Union.

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