International monitors criticize Turkish referendum, say Turkish government is silencing opposition

International representatives who oversaw the Turkish constitutional referendum are claiming that the rules were changed at the last moment and that the voters did not receive “adequate information about the vote.”
Erdoğan Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

While Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is celebrating his referendum win, international election monitors are criticizing the “silencing of the opposition” and even claiming that “voters were not provided with adequate information about the vote.”

The monitors, who are representatives from a coalition of international bodies who arrived in Turkey in order to oversee the referendum process, said that the referendum took place on an “unlevel playing field” because Erdoğan’s “yes” campaign received more media coverage than the “no” campaign.

The monitors also condemned Turkey’s High Electoral Board’s decision to accept unstamped ballots: “This undermines the efforts to prevent the results from being rigged.”

“The rules were changed at the last moment,” the monitors’ initial report read. “The legal framework remained inadequate for the holding of a genuinely democratic referendum.” The monitors will release their full and final report in about two months.

Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the decision of the Turkish people needs to be respected and the world needs to accept that Erdoğan will be granted more powers and authority. “This is a domestic Turkish matter,” Peskov told reporters who asked him about the referendum results.

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