US remarks on early polls is 'unacceptable': Turkish Foreign Ministry
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
In a statement, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said: "[...] remarks on elections that have yet to take place mean interference in the will of the nation and cannot be accepted."
Aksoy's remarks came after the U.S. State Department's spokeswoman Heather Nauert expressed "concerns" on early elections during state of emergency in the country.
“During a state of emergency, it would be difficult to hold a completely free, fair and transparent election in a manner that’s consistent with ... Turkish law and also Turkey’s international obligations. So we are aware of that,” Nauert had told a briefing on April 19, noting Turkey has been under a state of emergency for nearly two years following a July 2016 coup bid.
In return, Aksoy said: "All elections held in Turkey are confirmed to be democratic, free, fair and transparent by international observers' reports. The constitutional referendum held in 2017 under the state of emergency is the latest demonstration of it. By ignoring this fact, it is a malicious approach to claim that the implementation of state of emergency would cause elections to fall behind democratic standards."
Aksoy said that elections were held in many other countries during state of emergency.
"One of the latest examples is the 2017 election in France. Some states, which claim that they embrace democracy and rule of law, display double standard towards Turkey through such biased remarks towards our country," he said.
Turkey declared a state of emergency for the first time on July 20, 2016 following the failed coup attempt.
On April 18, the Turkish Parliament extended the ongoing state of emergency for the seventh time for another three months.