ANKARA (Sputnik) — Turkish Minister for EU Affairs Omer Celik on Tuesday accused the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) mission, which oversaw the constitutional referendum in Turkey, of a biased approach.
"Report of the OSCE observation mission is immature and far from objectivity. The violations were noticed, however, the observers did not comment on the lack of opportunities for the supporters of the presidential system in Europe to hold campaigns there, and this is an evidence of their biased approach. The mission also noted the alleged unequal conditions for 'yes' and 'no' campaigning," Celik told journalists.
Celik stressed that Turkey was ready to continue cooperation with European organizations, but "this cooperation should be based on objectivity and mutual respect, with respect for democratic principles."
On Sunday, Turkey held a referendum on the transition from a parliamentary to a presidential system of governance. Preliminary voting results indicate a victory for supporters of the governance shift. The changes to the constitution proposed at the referendum will allow the president of Turkey to take up the position as the head of the political party he represents, which is not permitted under current legislature. The amendments also allow Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to hold his office for two more terms, until 2029.
Erdogan refuted the OSCE findings, calling them "politically motivated," and added that the OSCE observers "should know their limits."