SERIOUS DEMOCRACY PROBLEM
The election board decision was criticised on Tuesday by various political parties including the largest opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and the speaker of parliament, who comes from the ruling AK Party.
"The place for the solution of even the most complex issues is parliament. Vetoing these candidates is not a decision that can be accepted by the democratic conscience. My wish is that the election board revises its decision," Speaker Mehmet Ali Sahin said.
Election board chairman Ali Em said on Tuesday the decision by the board, which organises and oversees elections, was clear and that he would not make a further statement. The justice minister said the board would assess challenges to the ruling.
One of those barred was BDP co-leader Gultan Kisanak, who is currently a member of parliament, said the board's decision was an attack on democracy.
"Turkey has a serious democracy problem. The election board decision is a major blow to the democratic struggle," she said.
Another of those barred was Leyla Zana, a former Nobel Peace Prize nominee, who has been convicted several times under Turkey's anti-terrorism laws.
She came to prominence in 1994 when she was convicted for links to the PKK after she spoke in Kurdish at her parliamentary oath ceremony. She was released in 2004 after Turkey's appeals court overturned her conviction.
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