The Organization of Turkish States (OTS) issued a statement regarding the elections held in Turkiye, APA reports.
"The International Election Observer Mission of the Organization of the Turkic States (OTS) (hereinafter referred to as the Mission) conducted observation of the Presidential Election and 28 thTerm General Parliamentary Elections of the Republic of Türkiye (hereinafter referred to as the Elections) on 11-14 May 2023. Headed by Ambassador Yerzhan Mukash, the OTS Deputy Secretary General, the Mission is composed of 30 delegates - the Members of the Parliament, the representatives of the Central Election Commissions and diplomats of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic and the Republic of Uzbekistan as well as the OTS Secretariat. The Mission monitored the Elections in Istanbul in three groups, respectively, in order to observe the Elections in different districts of the cities. The Mission carried out its activities in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Türkiye, as well as generally recognized rules of international law on the organization and conduct of elections, without interfering in the electoral process and the sovereignty of the state. In the framework of the observation of the pre-election process, on 11 May 2023, the OTS delegation held meetings with Ambassador Ayşe Sözen Usluer, the Representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Türkiye in Istanbul, H.E. Ali Yerlikaya, the Governor of Istanbul and Mr. Ramazan Seçkin, the Head of the Istanbul Election Committee. During these meetings the Mission was 2 provided with comprehensive information about the election process, the participation of international observer missions and local observers in the elections, and preparations for the voting process for the citizens living abroad. On 12 May 2023, the Mission also held meetings with leadership of Istanbul branches of the political parties taking part in the upcoming elections - Justice and Development Party (AKP), Republican People's Party (CHP) and İYİ Party. The delegation discussed the subjects related to programs of the parties for the elections and especially their foreign policy priorities, work on social media and the legal framework for elections. On the Election Day, the Mission attended the opening of the polling station in Beşiktaş and Üsküdar districts of Istanbul. Tabulation of ballots and results was conducted in time according to the national election legislation. The Mission visited 170 polling stations in total. The Missions did not find any evidence of intervention of administrative or law enforcement authorities in the work at the polling stations. All necessary administrative measures were taken to ensure the free will of the people during the voting day. Appropriate conditions were provided to national and international observers to conduct impartial observation of the Elections. The Mission has observed participation of the mostly national and also some international observers, which reinforces the legitimacy and transparency of the Elections. The Mission also observed the vote-counting process at the polling stations No. 1147-1155, 1184, 1167 of Beşiktaş election district in Istanbul. Counting of ballots and announcement of results were conducted in time according to the national election legislation. In some cases, the heads of ballot box committees cleared divergence of interpretation among the representatives of different political parties. The Missions observed that there were no serious technical problems, which might affect the results of the election. The Missions observed no campaign materials visible inside or outside the polling stations, nor were there any campaign activities taking place nearby the polling stations. The polling stations were mostly accessible for persons with disabilities. The Mission noticed that the elders were listed to vote at the lower floors or basement of the polling 3 stations. There were also mobile ballot boxes for those who could not cast their ballots at the polling stations. The Missions observed no attempt by any outsider to influence voters on how to vote, was given full access to the polling stations, and received necessary information from the polling station officials. In line with the electoral law, polling station materials including informative documents on how to vote and observe the Elections were present at the polling stations. Electoral participation was very high, especially among the elders, and the polls have been prepared in compliance with electoral law. The widespread coverage of the elections by the media outlets of the country can be noted as an effect contributing to the legitimacy and transparency of the election process. In conclusion, International Election Observer Mission of the OTS affirms that the Presidential Election and 28 th Term General Parliamentary Elections of the Republic of Türkiye was open, transparent and competitive, and complied with the national legislation of the Republic of Türkiye and generally accepted international election standards. The Mission congratulates the Republic of Türkiye and the brotherly Turkish people for the successful elections and expresses its belief that the results of the elections would contribute to further development and prosperity in the country," the statement says.