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Turkey: Parliamentary Assembly observers report on elections

Violent attacks against party members, premises and campaign staff “hindered contestants’ ability to campaign freely” in Turkey’s parliamentary elections according to international observers.

In their statement on the 1 November poll, the Parliamentary Assembly monitors also warned that “restrictions on media freedom remain a serious concern.”

According to the observers, the terrorist bomb attack in Ankara on 10 October, “significantly affected the atmosphere and conduct of the campaign,” with all political parties temporarily suspending campaign activities. The last two weeks of the campaign were marked by an increased number of attacks against and arrests of members and activists, who were predominantly from the People’s Democratic Party (HDP).

“Unfortunately, the campaign for these elections was characterized by unfairness and, to a serious degree, fear,” said Andreas Gross, head of the assembly delegation. “In light of this, it is even more vital that the president works for an inclusive political process to deal with the problems facing Turkey, ensuring that all voices, including those who lost these elections, are able to be heard.”

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