Turkey warns of external meddling after local polls
ANKARA- Anadolu Agency
Turkey called on all parties on April 2 to refrain from taking any actions that could be seen as interfering in the country's domestic affairs following weekend local elections.
“We urge all parties, including foreign governments, to respect the legal process and refrain from taking any steps that may be construed as meddling in Turkey's internal affairs,” Fahrettin Altun, Turkey's presidential communications director, said on Twitter in response to remarks by U.S. State Department spokesman Robert Palladino.
"Free and fair elections are essential for any democracy. That means acceptance of legitimate election results, which is essential,” Palladino said at a press briefing.
“We expect nothing less from Turkey, which has a long, proud tradition in this respect,” he added.
Altun said Sunday's elections took place in “an orderly and peaceful fashion.”
“We are confident that the electoral authorities will resolve all disputes swiftly, transparently and for good,” he stressed.
“Elections are the cornerstone of our nation's democracy. The Turkish people have expressed their will through the ballot box for 70 years. The authorities have a responsibility to ensure that elections are free and fair. It is equally crucial that the vote count occurs according to the law. We are closely monitoring the situation, as multiple political parties have challenged the preliminary results due to alleged procedural errors and other irregularities,” he added.
“No country has the right to intervene in the election results of another country in a way that is far from law and democracy and to see itself as a source of legitimacy of the results," Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a written statement.
“The source of legitimacy for the elections is the will of the nation," he noted, adding it was the Supreme Election Council that will evaluate and reach a conclusion on the objection process. It is essential that the will of the voter is fully reflected in the ballot box results, and everyone should respect the legal and democratic struggle shown in this regard,” Aksoy said, stressing that Turkey is a state of democratic law and weekend local polls were carried out in a democratic and transparent environment. Anti-democratic approaches and habits can no way overshadow Turkey's democratic maturity,” he said.
“Free and fair elections are essential for any democracy,” State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino said on April 2. “This means acceptance of legitimate election results,” he added.