Western 'concern' over Turkey vote as President Erdogan consolidates rule

Erdogan declared the outcome a vote for "stability" after renewed conflict with Kurdish rebels. 

Western 'concern' over Turkey vote as President Erdogan consolidates rule

Istanbul: Turkey's Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party prepared Monday to form a single-party government after a stunning election win that strengthens the hand of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan but drew sharp criticism from the White House and European election observers.

The conservative Islamic-leaning AKP reclaimed the majority it lost just five months ago, confounding opinion polls that had predicted another hung parliament.

Erdogan declared the outcome a vote for "stability" after renewed conflict with Kurdish rebels and a wave of bloody jihadist attacks, and called on the entire world to respect the result.

But the United States, a key ally of Turkey, and two European election observer missions expressed concern over the campaign, particularly the crackdown on media critical of Erdogan.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the US was "deeply concerned that media outlets and individual journalists critical of the government were subject to pressure and intimidation during the campaign."

"We have both publicly and privately raised our concerns about freedom of the press, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly in Turkey," he said.

His remarks echoed the findings of European election observers.

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