World Bulletin / News Desk
Western leaders reacted cautiously, but with some concern, after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's 'Yes' campaign emerged as the winner of Sunday's referendum on expanding the powers of his office.
Some capitals, such as London, were holding fire until hearing the opinion of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) which had observer mission in Turkey.
Others offered their first, cautious, reactions.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev told Erdogan in a telephone call that the result will raise Turkey’s status on the global stage.
“This referendum will undoubtedly mark the dawn of a new era in the history of our sister country and will strengthen the role and place of stable, strong Turkey in the international arena,” Aliyev said, according to his office.
Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas also congratulated Erdogan, Turkish presidential sources said.
According to diplomatic sources, leaders from Hungary, Macedonia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Kenya offered congratulations to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in telephone calls.
The president and prime minister of Pakistan said the outcome reflects the desire of the Turkish people for a strong Turkey.
They also voiced hope the new path would help consolidate gains made in Turkey in the past 15 years for stability and prosperity and pave the way for continued accelerated progress of the Turkish people in future.
One of Pakistan's largest political parties, Jamat-e 'Islami, congratulated Erdogan and the Turkish people on the “historic” win.
Party leader Siraj-ul-Haq, who is also a member of the Senate, told Anadolu Agency the result showed the trust of Turks in the policies of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party.
"Our best wishes are with President Erdogan, his team, and the brotherly people of Turkey,” he said. “I am sure this historic referendum victory will forge the way forward toward a strong, united, and prosperous Turkey.”
The referendum Sunday asked voters to decide on an 18-article bill to switch from a parliamentary to a presidential system, among other changes.
Deputy President of Iraq Usame Nuceyfi also congratulated: "Mr. President, I am glad to congratulate you and friend Turkish nation due to the referendum aimed at constitutional change,” he said.
In a telegram message, Djibouti Peesident Ismail Omar Guelleh said he was pleased with the result and the victory for democracy in Turkey.
One of the Hamas’ leaders, Izzet Er-Resa, sent congratulations from the group via Twitter to Erdogan, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and the leaders of Turkish political parties. "Turkey has taken a big step on the way of development while achieving a new success,” he said.
Palestine Liberation Organization expressed its happiness about vote and said the result will contribute to Turkey's stability and more support on the Palestine issue.
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Talaat Fehmi told Anadolu Agency that Turkey gave a lesson in democracy to the world that “leaders backed by the nations can overcome the all difficulties”.
The EU urged the Turkish government to seek the broadest agreement after Erdogan narrow's victory on the sweeping constitutional changes that the opposition says risk authoritarian rule.
"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," said a statement issued by European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker, EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini and EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn.
Council of Europe
Thorbjorn Jagland, secretary general of Europe's top rights watchdog, said that "in view of the close result" -- 51.3 percent voted with Erdogan according to near total unofficial results -- "the Turkish leadership should consider the next steps carefully".
It is of the utmost importance, said Jagland, "to secure the independence of the judiciary in line with the principle of rule of law enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights".
Turkey is a full member of the Council of Europe, which "stands ready to support the country in this process", Jagland added.
Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, said on Twitter that "it shows how divided the country is; Collaboration with the EU will be even more complex".
Turkey is officially an EU candidate nation, although its accession process has been moving at glacial pace for years, when it has moved at all.
"Strange to see democracy restrict democracy. The majority has the right to decide, but I'm quite concerned about new Turkish constitution," Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said Twitter.
A NATO official said that the constitutional referendum in alliance member Turkey "is a matter for the Turkish people".