Elections in Turkey: a wide range of political choices, but an unfair campaign

The early parliamentary elections held on 1 November in Turkey were “well conducted on election day” and offered “a wide range of political choices”, according to PACE's observer delegation.

The delegation however regretted that the electoral campaign was “characterised by unfairness” and tarnished by “a challenging security environment”, in particular in the south-east of the country: many violent incidents hindered contestants’ ability to campaign freely.

The report, prepared by Andreas Gross (Switzerland, SOC), highlights other worrying points, such as the serious restrictions on freedom of the media, the criminalisation of dissenting voices, and the lack of judicial review of decisions of the Supreme Board of Elections.

In order to address the legislative and constitutional shortcomings identified in the report, the parliamentarians have called on the Turkish authorities to, in particular, adapt the electoral legislation, and to lower the 10 per cent threshold – which has an impact on the lack of representativity of the parliament – within the framework of Turkey’s post-monitoring dialogue with the Assembly and in co-operation with the Venice Commission.