ANKARA: An international observer report on Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections disregarded “the principles of independent and impartial observation,” Turkey charged on Tuesday.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry was “saddened” to see that the report by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) “cites examples exceeding the framework of the election process and disregarding the principles of independent and impartial observation,” the ministry said in a statement.
The statement said Sunday’s Turkish elections were conducted in line with “free democratic election standards and with an exemplary voter turnout of 88 percent.”
Welcoming the OSCE’s acknowledgement of the high voter turnout of almost 90 percent as a mark of democratic maturity, it added: “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 [Election Observation Mission].”
“Political analysis and biased comments” made by the OSCE mission only “jeopardize” the mission’s credibility, it said.
“It is noteworthy that the observation mission confirmed that the elements highlighted in the said report do not have any effect on the efficiency and legitimacy of the election process,” it added.
It also said Turkey inviting international observers for the elections showed its confidence in its democracy.
“The observers, enjoying our full cooperation, have successfully performed their observation missions safely and freely,” it said.
The ministry mentioned the many observation missions in Turkey, including from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking States (Turkic Council), as well as parliamentary delegations such as the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA), Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic Speaking Countries (TURKPA), Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM), the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (PABSEC).
“A total of 415 international observers were assigned for the elections,” it added.
According to Turkey’s Supreme Election Council (YSK), on Sunday President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won an absolute majority in the presidential election with 52.5 percent of the vote, while his closest rival behind at 30.6 percent, with 99.9 percent of ballot boxes opened.
In the parliamentary polls, the People’s Alliance of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and Justice and Development (AK) Party won 53.6 percent of the votes, with 99.9 percent of ballot boxes opened.