Jun 26 2018

Election results a victory for democracy despite EU protests – German politician

Sunday’s victory for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections was a victory for democracy, in spite of criticism from media and governments in the European Union, German-Turkish politician Ozan Ceyhun wrote in an op-ed for the English language Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah.

The elections both enjoyed a very high turnout – reportedly around 87.5 percent of the 59.34 registered voters – and went off without any serious problems, setting a democratic example for the world, Ceyhun wrote.

With Erdoğan now likely to be in power as Turkey’s first state president until at least 2023, the country should not face any serious instability for years, a good sign for investors, said Ceyhun.

“European politics and media can maintain their anti-Erdoğan and anti-AK Party stance as they wish, but this will not by any means favor anyone, including the EU and European countries,” said Ceyhun, likely referring to European accusations against Erdoğan and the AKP of authoritarianism.

The EU’s Turkey rapporteur, Kati Piri, said in the wake of the elections that a “highly undemocratic presidential system” had been ushered in that is “absolutely incompatible with EU accession talks,” comments that Ceyhun called “heinous.”

The German politician urged EU states to “seize the opportunity” and work with Turkey as it undergoes serious reforms on the way to “(operating) better and (becoming) stronger thanks to the new system as an EU candidate and a NATO ally.”

“The European countries must seize this opportunity. But above all, the new Turkey expects honesty from the EU,” said Ceyhun.

“The country expects the opening of the chapters for negotiation, visa exemption, a fair renewal of the Customs Union Agreement and the end of the support provided to the European legs of terror groups that threaten Turkey such as the PKK and the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ),” he added, referring to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a group that has fought Turkish armed forces for Kurdish self-rule since 1984, and the Gülen religious movement, which is blamed for the failed coup attempt in 2016.