Turkey ‘disappointed’ over EU’s local elections remarks

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Turkey was “disappointed” over European Commission‘s first vice president’s remarks on local elections, the country’s foreign ministry spokesman said on April 7.

Turkish people went to the polls on March 31 with a participation rate that is seen in European countries rarely, and they once again showed their commitment to democracy.

“Nevertheless, the call of the European Union authorities to recognize the results, although the official results have not yet been announced in some places, have been recorded as an unfortunate blunder,” Hami Aksoy said in a statement.

Aksoy’s remarks came after Frans Timmermans claimed that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) did not respect the election results.

Millions of Turkish voters cast their votes nationwide on March 31 in the local elections to choose Turkey‘s mayors, city council members, mukhtars (neighborhood officials), and members of elder councils for the next five years.

According to unofficial results, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate Ekrem İmamoglu leads Istanbul with 48.79 percent of the votes, whereas Binali Yildirim of AKP follows with 48.51 percent.

However, the AKP has said a recount might change the results. Responding to a legal contest by the party, the Supreme Election Council (YSK) decided to re-examine some votes in several districts of Istanbul.

Aksoy said it is a matter of principle to wait for the results of the objections that were raised before the top election body.

He added the “arbitrary and hasty” statements of EU authorities without respecting the judicial process were “great misfortune”.

“We invite the EU authorities not to erode the democratic and legal values represented by the European Union for their political enthusiasm and preferences,” the spokesman said.

Hurriyet Daily News

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