PACE Observer: In many respects, Turkey’s elections were not fair

Tabea Rössner, member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Committee that came to Turkey and Northern Kurdistan to observe the June 24 elections, said: “We have seen that in many respects, the elections were not fair.”

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) sent a 33-person committee to observe the presidential and parliamentary elections held on June 24 in Turkey and Northern Kurdistan, and the PACE committee led by Olena Sotnyk from Ukraine faced many obstacles.

German MP from the Greens Tabea Rössner spoke about her observations on the elections to the website T-online. Rössner said even though they had the right to monitor whichever election locale they chose at any time, they were unable to do so:

“The campaigns themselves were not under equal or just conditions. Only Erdoğan made propaganda, others did not have the same opportunity. The opposition’s election activities were banned. We can’t speak of a fair and honest election process. What we can say is there were many irregularities. We wanted to carry out a joint effort with the OSCE committee, and I was tasked with Erzurum.

Completely spontaneously, we wanted to pose questions from the catalogue we prepared beforehand in the election locale. But we were told which locale to go to, and another committee was accompanied by the police. We couldn’t go where we wanted to, because there is violence against the Kurdish people in the southeast of Turkey, and the Council of Europe told us they couldn’t guarantee our safety.”


The German MP said there were only 330 observers for the 180.000 ballots throughout Turkey and Northern Kurdistan: “Because we were so few people, where we went and when was always known, we couldn’t hold spontaneous inspections.” Rössner said when they were in Erzurum, they heard from party observers that there was voting out in the open and that pre-stamped voting slips were handed out, and continued:

“When they saw us monitoring this unfair and dishonest voting process, they removed us from the voting station. We witnessed a very dubious election process there. We also saw that the vote envelopes were not stamped as they should have been. Family members entered the booths together, and police who shouldn’t have been there were present.”

Rössner, a Federal German MP for the Greens, said her observations about the election will be published by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe as a report. The Erdoğan regime had refused entry to the country for OSCE observers Andrej Hunko from Die Linke in Germany and Jabar Amin from the Greens in Sweden.