US president spoke with the Turkish president Monday following a referendum that has escalated fear over Erdoans increasingly authoritarian grip

Donald Trump called to congratulate Recep Tayyip Erdoan hours after the Turkish president claimed a narrow victory in a contested referendum that will awarded him sweeping new powers, according to the White House.

International observers monitoring the Turkish referendum concluded in a preliminary report on Mondaythat the campaign and referendum has just taken place in a political surrounding where the fundamental freedoms essential to a truly democratic process were curtailed.

The US president am speaking on Monday with Erdoan, whose succes in the constitutional referendum escalated fear over his increasingly authoritarian grip on power.

Trumps congratulatory message strikes a starkly different tone than the statement issued by the U.s. state department on Monday, which recommended Erdoan to respect his citizens fundamental rights and noted the reports findings of irregularities on voting period and an uneven playing field during the difficult campaign period.

According to a readout of the call provided for under the White House, the two leaders discussed the recent developments in Syria, the US response to the chemical onslaught in Syria and agreed on the importance of comprising Syrian president Bashar al-Assad accountable. The readout matches reports of a statement from Erdoans office, which was reported by the state-run Anadolu Agency.

On Sunday, Turkey narrowly approved a package of constitutional amendments that will dramatically reshape the countrys system of government. The proposal replaces the countrys parliamentary system with a presidential one and abolishes the duties of the prime minister.

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