European election observers should not interfere in domestic politics, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday, reacting to a report by two missions which voiced concerns about this week’s referendum on presidential powers.
Cavusoglu was referring to comments by the OSCE and the Council of Europe, which warned about an unlevel playing field and a media landscape dominated by the government. He said the reports were incorrect and revealed “ignorance.”
Moreover, there are concerns raised by the opposition after the election commission allowed unsealed ballots to be counted. Observers said this decision, made in the afternoon of election day, removed an important safeguard against fraud.
“You cannot come to Turkey and interfere in its politics,” Cavusoglu said, calling the observer missions’ findings “biased.” He accused the OSCE of arriving with preconceived opinions.
Meanwhile, Turkish police detained 38 people in Istanbul over peaceful street protests that took place after Sunday’s referendum on expanding President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s powers, opposition newspaper Birgun and activists reported.
Mesut Gecgel, one of the people detained in early morning raids, said on Twitter that he had been targeted by police for inciting people to protest and saying that the results were illegitimate.