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Germany: Turkey must answer reports of election fraud

Germany: Turkey must answer reports of election fraud

BERLIN — Germany is closely watching to see how Turkey will respond to reports from international election monitors who noted a series of irregularities in a referendum to increase powers for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday.

Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe monitors found many votes could have been manipulated in the close vote that went in Erdogan's favour, and Merkel told Parliament the Turkish government "must answer the questions" raised.

"We will follow very closely how Turkey deals with the reports," she said.

She also accused Turkey of holding journalists without grounds, including German-Turkish reporter Deniz Yucel, who was detained earlier this year.

"There is no question that the developments of the past weeks have strongly strained German-Turkish and European-Turkish relations," she said.

Merkel said Germany will talk with EU partners about "which precise consequences are appropriate and at what time."

The Associated Press