Turkey held a referendum, April 16, on abolishing the office of prime minister and extending the powers of the presidency, including giving him powers to appoint members of the judiciary, which many critics — at home and abroad — saw as a power grab by Erdogan.
Now, following a preliminary report into the referendum by the Council of Europe (CoE) and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the EU has called on Turkey to investigate irregularities in voting.
"Our monitoring showed the 'Yes' campaign dominated the media coverage and this, along with restrictions on the media, the arrests of journalists and the closure of media outlets, reduced voters' access to a plurality of views," said de Zulueta.
The CoE/OSCE report said: "Voters were not provided with impartial information about key aspects of the reform, and civil society organizations were not able to participate."
Unlevel playing field in Turkey's constitutional referendum: preliminary conclusions by international observers https://t.co/VJ23jx5T1r— OSCE (@OSCE) 17 April 2017
"The 18 proposed amendments affecting 72 articles of the constitution were voted on as a single package, contrary to international good practice for referenda. Voters did not have the opportunity to make a choice about each of the distinct issues featured in the amendments," the report said.
"None of the proposed amendments featured on the ballot; voters were simply asked to vote for a yes or no option. The state did not ensure that voters were provided with impartial or balanced information on the amendments and their potential impact, thus limiting their ability to make an informed choice."