OSCE should avoid ‘biased’ analysis of Turkey’s election, Foreign Ministry says

OSCE should avoid ‘biased’ analysis of Turkey’s election, Foreign Ministry says

OSCE should avoid ‘biased’ analysis of Turkey’s election, Foreign Ministry says

The Turkish Foreign Ministry on June 26 urged the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s (OSCE) election observation missions to “avoid making political analysis” and “biased comments” on the country’s recent snap parliamentary and presidential elections, which took place under an ongoing state of emergency. 

The ministry said it welcomed the OSCE Observation Mission’s acknowledgement of the “high voter turnout as an indication of democratic maturity” in its report.

“On the other hand, we are saddened to note that in the report, the OSCE Observation Mission cites examples exceeding the framework of the election process and disregarding the principles of independent and impartial observation,” the ministry said in a written statement.

The International Observation Mission (IOM), as one of the observation missions composed of OSCE Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) Election Observation Mission (EOM) and observers designated by the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe also presented its “Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions” report, including assessments relating to the election process.

The OSCE preliminary report criticized a number of aspects of the election process, including the fact that it took place under an ongoing state of emergency as well as a “restrictive legal framework [that] hinders media freedom and induces self-censorship.”

“Exaggerated negative conclusions and generalizations derived from certain unconfirmed exceptional and individual cases by the observer mission have raised question marks in terms of the methodology of the EOM,” said the ministry in response.

It also stated that it is noteworthy that the observation mission confirmed that the elements highlighted in the report “do not have any effect on the efficiency and legitimacy of the election process.”

Campaign conditions unequal, yet high turnout impressive: EU

Meanwhile, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Johannes Hahn on June 25 lauded Turkey’s elections highlighting “very high voter turnout.”

The turnout in Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections was around 87 percent. All 59 million votes have been entered into the counting system, Turkey’s Supreme Board of Elections (YSK) said on June 26.

In a joint statement, both said the turnout and the “broad spectrum of candidates and parties” competing in the landmark June 24 elections “reaffirmed the strong attachment of the Turkish people to democratic processes and the pursuit of their civil liberties as well as the rule of law and fundamental freedoms.”

“The voters had a genuine choice, but the conditions for campaigning were not equal,” said the statement, citing the EU’s election observation mission to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

“We will work with the President and the Parliament to address together the many common challenges ahead of us,” read the statement.

EU officials said the twin snap elections on June 24 “trigger the entry into force of the new presidential system.”

The statement also suggested it would be beneficial if the country urgently addressed certain shortcomings regarding the rule of law and fundamental rights.

Though there were no official congratulations from the EU to Erdoğan, the European Commission spokesperson had said earlier today that Turkey would hopefully “remain a committed partner” for the EU.

“We hope that under President Erdoğan’s leadership, Turkey will remain a committed partner for the European Union on major issues of common interest, such as migration, security, regional stability, and fight against terrorism,” he said.