The Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) expressed on Monday disappointment with Turkish authorities for negatively affecting the work of international observers in Turkey’s upcoming 14 May elections.
“As the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly has conveyed to Turkey’s diplomatic mission to the OSCE, we are disappointed with this step taken by the Turkish authorities, which could impact negatively on the work of the international observer mission,” said the organisation.
“While acknowledging the basic right of any country to control access to its polling stations, members of an election observation mission in an OSCE country, following an invitation by the country’s authorities, must be able to perform the tasks for which they have been invited,” said the assembly. It added that a country that invites an OSCE mission “should not – directly or indirectly – influence the composition of the mission”.
The organisation said it was particularly disappointed with Turkish authorities’ decision to deny accreditation to Danish parliamentarian Søren Søndergaard and Swedish parliamentarian Kadir Kasirga as election observers.
“We express our hope that Turkish authorities will extend appropriate support to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly observers,” the statement said.
Søren Søndergaard, a MP from the Danish left-wing Red-Green Alliance, said last week that the Turkish authorities’ decision to deny his access was related to his recent visit to Kurdish-controlled territories in northeast Syria.
OSCE previously revealed that its Parliamentary Assembly will send a team of more than 100 election observers to Turkey. Another mission deployed by an OSCE office will deploy 14 experts, 28 long-term observers, and 350 short-term observers in Turkey for the 14 May polls.