The EU has urged the Turkish government to seek the broadest national agreement after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan narrowly won a referendum granting him increased powers the opposition says risk authoritarian rule. "In view of the close referendum result and the far- reaching implications of the constitutional amendments, we... 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 yesterday. Erdogan made relations with the EU a key issue in his referendum campaign, lambasting Brussels for failing to make progress on Ankara's stalled accession talks and trading Nazi jibes with Germany and the Netherlands when they barred pro- change rallies. "The constitutional amendments, and especially their practical implementation, will be assessed in light of Turkey's obligations as a European Union candidate country and as a member of the Council of Europe," the EU statement said. "We encourage Turkey to address the Council of Europe's concerns and recommendations, including with regards to the state of emergency," it added. The Council of Europe includes all 28 EU members and most others on the continent to monitor human rights, another bone of contention for the EU which has repeatedly expressed concern over Erdogan's massive crackdown after a failed military coup against him in July. The joint statement also noted that the EU was "awaiting the assessment" of international monitors "with regard to alleged irregularities" which the opposition charges were widespread.
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