U.S. President Donald Trump congratulated President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on April 17 in a telephone call after his narrow victory in a constitutional referendum, the Turkish Presidency’s press office said.
The call came a day after more than 51 percent of Turks voted in favor of 18 constitutional amendments that will, among other things, see Turkey switch from a parliamentary to an executive presidency with vastly enhanced powers for Erdoğan.
Trump’s message came in contrast to a message released by the State Department, which cited a report by international observers who had noted “irregularities on voting day and an uneven playing field during the difficult campaign period.”
The two leaders also discussed an alleged chemical attack by the Syrian government on April 4 that killed approximately 100 civilians and injured 500 others in the opposition-held town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province.
Investigators in Turkey and elsewhere believe sarin gas was used in the attack.
Trump and Erdoğan agreed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the attack.
The U.S. president also thanked Turkey for its support for U.S. missile strikes on the Shayrat air base on April 7 in retaliation for the chemical attack.
Both leaders also stressed the need for cooperation in the fight against terror groups, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).