The OSCE claimed a “lack of equal opportunities, one-sided media coverage and limitations on fundamental freedoms” had created an “unlevel playing field” in Turkey’s constitutional referendum.
“In general, the referendum did not live up to Council of Europe standards. The legal framework was inadequate for the holding of a genuinely democratic process,” said Cezar Florin Preda, head of the delegation from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
Electoral board head Sadi Guven hit back at claims ballots may have been fake or wrongly submitted, instead stating the decision was taken to prevent voters feeling “victimised”.
“The ballot papers are not fake, there is no (reason) for doubt,” said Guven.
Turkey’s president rebuffed a report critical of Turkey’s handling of Sunday’s historic referendum, saying Ankara would ignore its claims.
“First you should know your place! We will not consider, see, or recognize your political report. We will go our own way,” said Recep Tayyip Erdogan, referring to a report by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
The report was prepared according to the OSCE’s biased “point of view,” he added.
“The assessment that suggests that the referendum process fell short of international standards is unacceptable,” Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement, blasting the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) report as “biased”.
Justice and Development Party (AK Party) lawmaker and Chairman of the Committee on Human Rights Inquiry Mustafa Yeneroğlu urged OSCE to issue an apology to Turkey for sending a PKK supporter as an observer for the referendum and toss the report out.