Turkey’s presidential election had “unwarranted advantages” for re-elected President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, European election observers said on Monday.
RT Erdogan narrowly won Sunday’s runoff election against Kemal Kiliçdaroglu, extending his 20-year rule for a third term.
Media bias and restrictions on freedom of expression have led to a level playing field, an Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and Council monitoring mission said in Ankara on Monday. from Europe.
“With the continued use of public funds for election campaign purposes, it has given the current president undue advantages,” observers said.
Turkey’s election commission showed a lack of transparency, they added. The institution itself said that the elections took place without major problems, although the opposition reported several cases of misconduct, especially in the east of the country.
RT Erdogan received around 52% and Kilicdaroglu around 48% on Sunday. voter votes.
Public broadcasters clearly supported the current president, while “a similar bias was observed in many private media”, according to the OSCE report. Thus, the second round of the presidential election took place in conditions “which in many respects are not conducive to the holding of democratic elections”.
Yet on Monday, hours after his victory, world leaders took turns congratulating RT Erdogan.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz congratulated RT Erdogan by telephone and invited him to Berlin for an inaugural visit.
According to government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit, Scholz underlined the close ties between Germany and Turkey, including as allies in the NATO military alliance.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak tweeted that he “looks forward to the continued shutdown [JK ir Turkijos] cooperation – from trade expansion to countering security threats”.
Polish President Andrzej Duda praised RT Erdogan in a tweet, hinting at the need for cooperation to end Russia’s war on Ukraine. Congratulatory messages were also sent by the leaders of Russia, France, Pakistan, Israel, the EU and the United States.
In foreign policy, RT Erdogan faces several important tests, including Sweden’s application for NATO membership and the war in Ukraine. Turkey is the only remaining NATO member that has yet to approve Sweden’s membership, citing Stockholm’s alleged support for “terrorists”.
At home, RT Erdogan faces a cost of living crisis and will have to stubbornly manage relentless inflation and unemployment, as well as the devaluation of the national currency, the lira.
In his victory speech, RT Erdogan promised to take economic measures, but did not specify foreign policy challenges.
With the introduction of an executive presidential system in 2018, RT Erdogan has more power than ever, raising fears that he could become even more authoritarian.
Electoral rival Kiličdaroglu said on Sunday he was “sad, but Turkey has much bigger problems ahead”.
Source: The Delfi