News World Poll observers raise concerns over curbs on freedom in Turkey

Poll observers raise concerns over curbs on freedom in Turkey

A European group observing Turkey’s local elections criticized on Monday curbs on the free expression of citizens and journalists a day after local polls in which Turks appeared to hand President Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party defeats in big cities.

The head of the observation mission carried out by the Council of Europe’s Congress of Local and Regional Authorities cited the need for people to express opinions without fear of government reprisal.

“I am afraid we…are not fully convinced that Turkey currently has the free and fair electoral environment which is necessary for genuinely democratic elections in line with European values and principles,” said Andrew Dawson.

“But we do take the fact that many parties have been successful as a positive sign of Turkey’s democratic resilience,” he told reporters in Ankara.

Erdogan suffered a severe setback in the Sunday elections as his AK Party (AKP) lost control of the capital Ankara for the first time since the party was founded in 2001, and he appeared to concede defeat in the country’s largest city, Istanbul.

The president’s daily rallies and overwhelmingly supportive media coverage was not enough to overcome concerns among many voters over Turkey’s tip toward economic recession after last year’s currency crisis.

The High Election Board said Monday morning that the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate for Istanbul mayor led the AKP candidate by nearly 28,000 votes. Early on Monday, Erdogan said the party would appeal results wherever needed.

Dawson said “there could be cause for concern” over any further delays but it was too soon to tell.

Last year, after Erdogan announced the June 24 parliamentary and presidential elections, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) Monitoring Committee voiced concern over the freedom and fairness of Turkish snap elections and recommended they be postponed.

Turkey’s then-prime minister told the European rights body “to mind its own business”.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Missing child found (updated)

  A 15-year-old child reported missing from his home in Limassol since June 29 has been found and is in good health, police said on...

One new Covid case with travel history

One person has tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases to 1005, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday, from a total...

Compulsory use of gloves by employees on way out

    The compulsory use of gloves by employees that was introduced as part of measures to contain the spread of coronavirus is to be scrapped,...

22-year-old sentenced to 13 years in jail for Nicosia manslaughter

The Nicosia Criminal Court handed down on Tuesday a 13-year jail sentence to a 22-year-old foreign national who had pleaded guilty to killing a...

House, car repair shop, storeroom damaged by fire

  A fire which broke out off the Ayii Trimithias and Anthoupolis road on Tuesday afternoon has left a trail of damage in its wake,...

Taste

How to make triandafillo ice cream, by UK Cypriot chef Loulla Astin

  Just in time for the scorching heat, UK Cypriot chef Loulla Astin has shared her recipe for refreshing triantafillo ice cream -- or as...

Cyprus sprouts with cream and prosciutto

In a big, deep frying pan, fry the prosciutto in the olive oil, on medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the onion and garlic...

Pork burger with sundried tomatoes, mozzarella and anchovies

Mix all the ingredients together with the mince in a bowl, and combine well. Divide into 4 balls and form the burgers. Warm a griddle/pan...

Sheftalies

Wash the lamb cauls with plenty of cold water and let them settle in water and vinegar for a little while. Soak the bread crumbs...