EU praises strong attachment of Turkish people to democracy

The European Union Monday said Turkey’s general and presidential elections held on Sunday saw a very high voter turnout and a broad spectrum of candidates and parties competing in the elections.

“This reaffirmed the strong attachment of the Turkish people to democratic processes and the pursuit of their civil liberties as well as the rule of law and fundamental freedoms,” said EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood policy, Johannes Hahn, in a joint statement.

It noted that according to international election observers, “the voters had a genuine choice, but the conditions for campaigning were not equal.

“In addition, the restrictive legal framework and powers granted under the ongoing state of emergency restricted the freedoms of assembly and expression, including in the media,” said the EU statement.

“We will work with the President and the Parliament to address together the many common challenges ahead of us,” they said.

They stated that the elections “trigger the entry into force of the new presidential system which has far reaching implications for Turkish democracy”.

“In general, Turkey would benefit from urgently addressing key shortcomings regarding the rule of law and fundamental rights,” it added.

Source: Kuwait News Agency