HARTFORD — U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, on Monday released a statement on the apparent passage of a constitutional referendum in Turkey to grant President Recep Tayyip Erdogan broad new powers. The referendum passed with just over 51% of the vote, according to news reports.

“The United States and Turkey are longtime NATO allies and continue to share important common interests,” said Murphy. “We will continue working together as partners to defeat ISIS, combat violent extremism, and strengthen NATO."

“The manner in which Turkey’s constitutional referendum was conducted, however, was disappointing.  The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe  and other international observers have made clear that the referendum was conducted in a fundamentally unfair political environment that strongly favored one side,” Murphy added.  “Considering the close margin of the vote, President Erdogan should recognize the need to pursue a balanced agenda that protects fundamental rights, and ensure voices of all Turkish citizens are represented in his government.”