Limitation of basic freedoms imposed by the Turkish government affected the elections, Cypriot MPs say

Limitation of basic freedoms imposed by the Turkish government has substantially affected the elections in the country, Cypriot MPs who participated in the OSCE election observation mission to Turkey have said.

Eirini Charalambidou and Kyriakos Hadjiyiannis said under their capacity as members of the OSCE mission that they had the opportunity to listen to journalists, party officials and representatives of non-governmental organisations, while they visited polling stations and observed vote counting in some of these centres.

Charalambidou and Hadjiyiannis noted the “negative climate towards the OSCE European representatives in many polling stations.

They also said that the Turkish police denied them access to one of the polling stations centres, noting that the Turkish government did not extend the appropriate cooperation with the OSCE observers.

The conditions in which the election campaign took place were unequal, as the majority of the media were associated with the governing party and as a result there was no equal treatment of the candidates, the two Cypriot MPs added.

They also said that journalists and Recep Tayipp Erdogan’s rivals at the elections complained over the manipulation of social networks, the persecution of columnists, as well the absolute deprivation of the freedom of speech. The two MPs furthermore added that election rallies were prohibited and there was a blackout in media coverage when it was possible to organize such rallies .

The limitation of basic freedoms imposed by the Turkish government has substantially affected the elections, Charambidou and Hadjiyiannis concluded.

Source: Cyprus News Agency