No: 173, 26 June 2018, Press Release Regarding the Preliminary Findings Issued on 25 June 2018 by OSCE, OSCE PA and Pace Election Observers Assigned in Turkey for Presidential and 27th Term Parliamentary Elections

The Presidential and 27th term Parliamentary elections in Turkey, held on 24 June 2018, were conducted in compliance with free democratic election standards and with an exemplary voter turnout of 88 percent.

Marking confidence in our democracy in line with the usual practice, international observers have been invited for these elections. The observers, enjoying our full cooperation, have successfully performed their observation missions safely and freely.

Election observers from international organizations such as OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States (the Turkic Council) have been invited to Turkey. With the addition of delegations from the parliamentary organizations, namely 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.

International observers confirmed with various statements that the security of ballot boxes has been assured and the elections were held in transparent, free, pluralist and fair manner in accordance with international standards.

International Observation Mission (IOM), as one of the observation missions composed of OSCE Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) Election Observation Mission (EOM) and observers designated by OSCE PA and PACE also presented its “Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions” report including assessments relating to the election process.

We welcome the OSCE Observation Mission’s acknowledgement of the high voter turnout as an indication of the democratic maturity in Turkey in its report.

On the other hand, we are saddened to note that in the report, OSCE Observation Mission cites examples exceeding the framework of the election process and disregarding the principles of independent and impartial observation.

Exaggerated negative conclusions and generalizations derived from certain unconfirmed exceptional and individual cases by the observer mission have raised question marks in terms of methodology of the EOM. 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 should not be forgotten that making political analysis and biased comments will only jeopardize the credibility of OSCE election observation missions.