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US: Turkey Needs To Maintain Political Dialogue Featured

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State Dept. encourages voters, parties to focus on working together for Turkey's future

The U.S. on Monday urged the people of Turkey and political parties to concentrate on working toward the country’s future following Sunday's referendum.

"We encourage voters and parties on both sides to focus on working together for Turkey's future and to maintain a meaningful political dialogue,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement. “Democracies gain strength through respect for diverse points of view, especially on difficult issues.”

The statement came a day after Turkey voted on an 18-article constitutional reform. It thanked the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and said the group’s concerns were taken into account while the U.S. awaits a final report that would take several weeks.

Earlier Monday, the OSCE claimed a "lack of equal opportunities, one-sided media coverage and limitations on fundamental freedoms” created an “unlevel playing field" in the referendum vote.

"The United States remains committed to strengthening our bilateral relationship. The United States continues to support Turkey's democratic development, to which commitment to the rule of law and a diverse and free media remain essential," the statement concluded.

Turks voted to approve changes to the country’s constitution that will usher in an executive presidency.

The “Yes” campaign secured 51 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results, on the referendum that saw 85 percent voter turnout.

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