Turkish deputy PM accuses PACE of ‘double standards’ on early elections
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) urging Turkey to postpone its early elections over its state of emergency shows a double standard as no one made an issue about the same situation in France, Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ said on April 24.
“When France held elections [in 2017] during the state of emergency, PACE didn’t mind election security and didn’t urge France to postpone the elections, but when it comes to Turkey, it brings up the EU criteria, state of emergency and election security, which is meaningful and shows a double standard,” Bozdağ said on his Twitter account on April 24.
Bozdağ’s remarks came after PACE’s monitoring committee on April 24 called on Turkey to postpone the June 24 early elections, claiming Turkey is not complying with the EU criteria.
Bozdağ called the move “unacceptable” and “interference in Turkey’s internal affairs and elections.”
The Turkish Parliament on April 20 passed a bill calling for early elections on June 24.
Turkey declared a state of emergency for the first time on July 20, 2016, five days after a defeated coup which left 250 people killed and nearly 2,200 injured.
Separately, EU Minister Ömer Çelik also slammed the PACE move, calling it an intrusion in the sovereign decision of Turkish citizens.
Calling it “a completely political decision,” Çelik said on Twitter: “Turkey knows how to decide when the elections should be. Nobody has the right to intervene except Turkish citizens and the institutions that represent them.”