Press Release

Turkish referendum: business as usual is not an option



Brussels, 17 April 2017

As the Turkish electoral commission declared a narrow victory of the YES front in the constitutional referendum, European Green Party Co-chairs Reinhard Bütikofer and Monica Frassoni said:

“If confirmed, the referendum results would institutionalize a de facto one-man rule, making Erdogan an elected dictator. The vote took place after a very polarised campaign, in the context of a state of emergency, which saw the imprisonment of opposition representatives and journalists, the closure of numerous media outlets and in which opposition was seriously curtailed in its campaigning activities."

“The amount of damage that this will concretely inflict to Turkey's social fabric, institutions, rule of law and business environment will be significant. A pervading climate of fear and siege mentality are now deeply instilled in Turkish society.

“The referendum results will deepen polarization and grievances and weaken the attempts to find any peaceful solution to the ongoing conflicts in the region. A 'normalization' of Turkey's domestic and foreign politics is now unlikely to occur as Recep Tayyip Erdogan is carrying out the harshest crackdown in decades. Despite this, the large public opposition to the massive concentration of power in the hands of the president should not be underestimated by the EU.

“Greens reiterate their support and respect for all those that, despite the extremely difficult circumstances, reject violence and continue their peaceful fight for the re-establishment of freedom and rule of law in Turkey.

"We are now waiting for the publication of the assessment made by the OSCE International Observation Mission, also with regard to the alleged irregularities. Whatever the assessment result will be, one thing is clear: almost 50% of Turkish electorate voted NO, so business as usual is not an option. We will do our part and invite representatives of the NO Campaign to the European Parliament, in order to discuss and define the next steps to take.”

- ENDS -

Eliana Capretti
Head of Communications and Press

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