Turkish Parliament speaker says problems between Turkey, OSCE to be ‘ironed out’
AA photoParliament Speaker İsmail Kahraman on June 7 said he hopes problems between Turkey and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) will be “ironed out,” speaking at a meeting in Ankara with OSCE vice-president George Tsereteli.
“If the problems [between Turkey and the OSCE] are ironed out, if a platform existed, we would be happy,” Kahraman said, accepting Tsereteli and an accompanying committee at parliament.
Saying Turkey was an important partner of the organization, Tsereteli said a powerful, stable, and democratic Turkey was important for the whole world including Europe.
“Following last year’s failed coup attempt, Turkey had to take the steps to fight terrorism. While doing this, it is important that these works are undertaken taken in harmony with international human rights and democracy. That parliament was bombed during the failed coup attempt was an important threat and we also felt this pain deep in our hearts,” Tsereteli added.
An interim report from the OSCE had harshly criticized the undemocratic campaign environment between March 17 and April 7 ahead of the April 16 referendum on shifting to an executive presidential system, noting that supporters of the “No” campaign faced bans, police interventions, and violent scuffles at their events.
The report also noted that freedom of expression had been further curtailed by the closure of numerous media outlets and the arrest of journalists following the failed July 2016 coup attempt, as well as the legal framework for the state of emergency.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Turkish Foreign Ministry blasted the report as “biased” after its release.