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10:21 21 July
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Turkey blasts OSCE 'bias' in referendum report


A report by international observers criticizing the conduct of Turkey’s April 16 referendum was “prejudiced” and “unacceptable,” Ankara charged Monday, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

 

"The assessment that suggests that the referendum process fell short of international standards is unacceptable," Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement, blasting the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) report as "biased".

 

It explained that statements made by OSCE officials before the Sunday referendum showed that the observers “arrived in Turkey with prejudices and … disregarded the principles of objectivity and impartiality.”

 

Turkey’s voter turnout rate of 85 percent “could serve as an example to other OSCE participating states,” the ministry added.

 

Earlier Monday, the OSCE claimed a "lack of equal opportunities, one-sided media coverage and limitations on fundamental freedoms” had created an “unlevel playing field" in Turkey’s constitutional referendum.

 

"In general, the referendum did not live up to Council of Europe standards. The legal framework was inadequate for the holding of a genuinely democratic process," said Cezar Florin Preda, head of the delegation from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

 

On Sunday, a majority of Turkish voters cast ballots in favor of 18 constitutional amendments set to, among other things, see Turkey switch from a parliamentary to a presidential system of governance.

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