OSCE should not lose its credibility like this

Published 19.04.2017 01:17
Updated 19.04.2017 01:18

The OSCE should immediately launch an investigation into the biased report against Turkey and show it is still a fair and respected institution

The Turkish people made their decision on Sunday to change the Constitution and create a new presidential system of government in a referendum that was perfectly free and fair. Yet, we see that there is a serious effort at home and abroad to cast a shadow on this perfect display of democracy by the Turkish people.

The defamation campaign at home is being conducted by the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) which is, unfortunately, bordering the limits of treason. The CHP is raising claims that the referendum campaign was not free and that there were irregularities at the polls.

The Supreme Board of Elections (YSK) has announced that it investigated the alleged inconsistencies in the early hours of the referendum result, indicating that there were some ballots cast that were unstamped and determined that these votes are considered valid as they were cast on special paper produced only for the YSK, adding that all the contested votes were accounted for. The YSK said the fact that the ballots were unstamped was the mistake of election officials and not voters, deciding that declaring the votes null and void would be a punishment to the voters. The YSK also said that such mistakes have occurred in the past five elections in Turkey, ultimately deciding that the votes would be accepted as valid.

The CHP, which was beaten at the polls, is now going beyond playing the "sore loser" and is inciting people to violently protest the referendum results, encouraging people to take to the streets. While left-wing terrorist groups have already exerted their efforts to turn these protests into violent events.

Now, the CHP is also challenging the YSK, which is regarded as the highest court in dealing with these issues, threatening to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).They are, of course, entitled to take legal action but exploiting the anti-Turkish sentiment of the Europeans at Turkey's expense is really destructive for our country and is unacceptable. Yet, we are used to the destructive characteristics of the CHP that encouraged the 1960 coup and sent Prime Minster Adnan Menderes and two of his minsters to the gallows.

What we are not used to is respectable institutions like the Organization of Security and Cooperation for Europe (OSCE) going along with the anti-Turkish drive created in Europe. To illustrate, the observers of the OSCE were in Turkey to monitor the referendum campaign and the voting process and has issued a report that the event was "unfree and unfair."

The report was written using the arguments of the CHP. It was as if the CHP had dictated the report and the observers had merely put their signatures on the "findings." Also, we later realized that some of the monitors were extremely biased against Turkey and even had PKK sympathizers. This is really sad. The OSCE should have been particularly careful in deciding who they would send to Turkey. It is also true that our officials should have objected to such monitors who would clearly be biased.

The OSCE report was ugly, completely wrong and full of mistakes. It was clearly the work of those who hate Turkey and the country's administration led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The OSCE should immediately launch an investigation into this report and the composition of its monitors. This is a serious credibility issue for a previously highly respected institution. If this does not happen, we can, then, change the name of the institution to the Organization of Insecurity and Discord for Europe.

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