You are here: Home » PTI Stories » National » News
Business Standard

OSCE launches Turkey poll mission despite 'limitations'

AFP  |  Ankara 

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in (OSCE) launched an observer mission in Turkey today ahead of a vote on expanding President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's powers, but said there were limits on its movement.

The mission follows an invitation from Turkish authorities, the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights told reporters in Ankara.

But Tana de Zulueta, head of the mission, admitted there were limitations on freedom of movement.

"We already have limitations in place on freedom of movements for international observers in some parts of the country. We have to take these into account," Zulueta said.

But, she added: "We would like to cover as extensive an area as possible."

Zulueta did not give further details on the "limitations" but the Turkish military has been waging a relentless campaign in the southeast of the country against Kurdish militants.

A team of 11 experts in Ankara and 24 observers from 13 countries will be deployed across the country.

The Turkish public will vote on April 16 on whether to approve constitutional changes that would create an executive presidency.

While the government argues that the changes are necessary for political stability, critics fear it will lead to one-man rule and a further erosion of democracy.

Zulueta said part of the team's job would be assessing the media environment and the ability of Turkish citizens to make an informed choice, amid criticism from commentators that the 'no' campaign was struggling to make its voice heard.

The observers will meet with representatives from civil society, media, political parties and Turkish officials as well as visiting polling stations across the country.

But this will not constitute systematic observation, she added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, March 18 2017. 00:07 IST