Erdoğan says OSCE observers are representatives of PKK

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gestures as he delivers a speech during a rally on March 26, 2017 in İstanbul. / AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has claimed that Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) representatives who monitored a referendum held in Turkey on Sunday and criticized the referendum for lacking international standards are actually representatives of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

In televised remarks on Wednesday evening, Erdoğan said the OSCE commissioned representatives of the PKK instead of impartial observers to monitor the referendum in Turkey.

A constitutional reform package that will introduce an executive presidency in Turkey received 51.4 percent of the vote in favor in the referendum.

Displaying some photos, Erdoğan said: “These are representatives of the terror organization [PKK] who were commissioned by the OSCE to monitor the referendum. How can someone holding a PKK flag be objective? This man acting as a rapporteur here is a terrorist. Is it possible to see his report as independent?”

The OSCE said on Monday that Turkey’s referendum lacked equal opportunities, media coverage for the contesting sides and international standards for a fair election.

In a statement on Monday, the joint mission of the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) said the April 16 constitutional referendum in Turkey was contested on an unlevel playing field and that the two sides in the campaign did not have equal opportunities.

Speaking during an address to his supporters at the presidential palace in Ankara on the same day, Erdoğan criticized the OSCE’s report and said he would not recognize it.

“First of all know yourself [OSCE]. We will neither accept nor recognize a report by you. We will continue on our own way.”

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry also slammed the OSCE in a statement on Monday, saying the OSCE’s reflections on the referendum results employ a biased and prejudiced approach and are also denunciatory.

The foreign ministry said it was “unacceptable” to say that the poll fell short of international standards.

2 COMMENTS

  1. needless to add that the OSCE member state Turkey – like all other OSCE member states – INVITED the other member states to observe.

  2. Better phrasing:

    For clarification:the OSCE member state Turkey – like all other OSCE member states – had INVITED the other OSCE member states to send observers to observe.

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