Erdogan rejects international criticism

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday rejected any international criticism of the electoral commission’s decision to cancel the results of the mayor election in Istanbul. “God willing, our people will not bow to these threats, this language of pressure,” he said in a televised address on the night of Saturday. “Anyone who tries to topple the elected head of state of Venezuela can not talk to us about democracy,” he said, inter alia, to Washington.

The US State Department had criticized the events surrounding the election in Istanbul. “We urge Turkish authorities to carry out this election in accordance with the law and in a manner consistent with their obligations in the OSCE, their status as a NATO member and their aspiration to become a member of the EU,” a note from the US State Department said , free and fair elections and the acceptance of legitimate results are essential for any democracy.

Numerous Western politicians and international organizations had criticized and regretted the decision to cancel the election results in the metropolis of Istanbul.

EU Neighborhood Commissioner Johannes Hahn described the rationale of the Turkish electoral authority for the repetition of the election in Istanbul as a “farce”.

The Election Commission annulled the mayoral election held on 31 March in Istanbul and ordered a rerun on 23 June. In a letter to the parties, the electoral commission raised a point of criticism from the AKP stating that some of the electoral councils had been put together illegally.

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