Qr-21, 1 April 2019, Statement Of The Spokesperson Of The Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hami Aksoy, In Response To A Question On The Observation Of The Local Elections In Turkey On 31 March 2019 By The Election Observation Mission Of The Congress Of Local And Regional Authorities Of The Council Of Europe

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 01.04.2019

Local elections on 31 March 2019 in Turkey were conducted in line with free democratic election procedures with a voter turnout above 84%.

Within the framework of the elections and as an indicator of our constructive cooperation with international institutions, a delegation has been invited to observe the local elections from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities (the Congress), an institution representing local authorities within the Council of Europe of which Turkey is a founding member. This is the first time that the Congress observes local elections in our country.

In this context, a delegation of 22 members forming 10 teams, observed the elections in several provinces. Our authorities extended full cooperation and assistance throughout Turkey as regards the observation activities of the Mission.

In fact, the Congress Election Observation Mission has stated that they had full access to the voting procedures at the polling stations where they conducted their election observation, that the Ballot Box Committees performed their tasks competently and that they were impressed by the technical proficiency of the election at all levels from the Supreme Election Council down to the individual Ballot Box Committees. The Mission announced that the elections were conducted in an orderly way.

On the other hand, while affirming Turkey’s absolute right regarding its integrity and security, doubts expressed about the free and fair electoral environment by way of commenting on regrettably misunderstood political issues which should remain out of the mandate of the Observation Mission, are groundless.

Turkey, ranking among the top of the countries with highest turnout rates in elections in Europe, will continue its constructive approach also in the future towards election observation, in the context of the confidence it places in its democratic maturity and the importance it attaches to cooperation with international human rights mechanisms.