ANKARA, 24 May 2011 – The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) today opened a mission to assess the 12 June parliamentary elections in Turkey.
The mission, led by Cayetana de Zulueta, was deployed following an invitation from the Turkish authorities. As a participating State of the OSCE, Turkey has committed itself to invite ODIHR to observe its elections.
The mission includes 19 experts from 13 OSCE participating States. It will assess the overall framework for the conduct of elections in Turkey in light of OSCE commitments on democratic elections, with a focus on the campaign environment, voter registration, campaign finance, the media situation, women's participation and representation, and the impact of recent legal amendments on the conduct of the electoral process.
The experts will meet with governmental authorities, the election administration, candidates, political parties, civil society and the media. In addition to the expert team based in the capital, Ankara, regional teams will be deployed to cover different parts of the country from Istanbul, Izmir, and Diyarbakır.
ODIHR will not carry out systematic or comprehensive observation of the voting, counting, or tabulation on election day, but the experts plan to visit a limited number of polling stations across the country to follow election day procedures.
A final report will be issued about two months after the completion of the election process.
ODIHR previously assessed the 2007 and 2002 parliamentary elections in Turkey.