April 17, 2017 / 9:05 AM / 3 years ago

Merkel and Gabriel say respect right of Turks to decide on constitution

German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends an event that is honouring volunteers who help refugees, in Berlin, Germany, April 7, 2017. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Monday that the German government had noted Turkey’s preliminary referendum result and respected Turkish citizens’ right to decide on their constitution.

“The Turkish people were called upon to vote on a change of Turkey’s constitution. The German government takes note of the preliminary referendum result and respects the right of Turkish citizens to decide on their own constitutional order,” Merkel and Gabriel said in a statement.

“The tight referendum result shows how deeply divided Turkish society is and that means a big responsibility for the Turkish leadership and for President Erdogan personally,” they added.

Merkel and Gabriel said the German government expected the Turkish government to have a “respectful dialogue” with all parts of Turkish society and all parts of the political spectrum there after a tough referendum campaign.

Reporting by Michelle Martin and Maria Sheahan

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