28.4 C
Frankfurt am Main

OSCE ‘disappointed’ after Turkey bars 2 election observers

Must read

The parliamentary assembly of the world’s largest security organization, the OSCE, voiced disappointment on Monday after Turkey barred two lawmakers from a 100-strong mission to monitor the country’s May 14 elections, Agence France-Presse reported.

Turkish authorities have denied mission accreditation to Danish MP Soren Sondergaard and Swedish MP Kadir Kasırga, said the parliamentary assembly of the 57-member Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

“We are disappointed with this step taken by the Turkish authorities, which could impact negatively on the work of the international observer mission,” the assembly said.

It said Turkey “should not –- directly or indirectly -– influence the composition of the mission,” adding that Sondergaard and Kasirga had been refused entry because of statements made “as independent members of parliament.”

The monitoring team is made up of lawmakers from OSCE member countries.

Another OSCE body is sending a separate team of almost 400 people to observe Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary vote, in which President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan faces the toughest challenge of his two-decade rule.

Sondergaard, from Denmark’s Socialist-Green Alliance, said last week that Turkey had denied him access because he had previously visited the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

He told Danish public television TV2 that Ankara had accused him of “promoting a terrorist organization.”

The SDF spearheaded the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria. Turkey regards it as an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which it classifies as “terrorist.”

In 2018, Ankara barred a German and a Swedish lawmaker from an election observer mission sent by the OSCE’s parliamentary assembly.

Founded in 1975, the OSCE comprises 57 participating states that span the globe, encompassing three continents — North America, Europe and Asia — and more than a billion people.

Liked it? Take a second to support Turkish Minute on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!
More News
Latest News