EP’s Schulz says elections proof of pluralism of Turkish democracy

European Parliament (EP) President Marin Schulz has said Sundayand’s parliamentary elections in Turkey which resulted in the ruling partyand’s losing its parliamentary majority stand as proof of the vibrancy and pluralism of Turkish democracy. In a press release on Monday, Schulz said Sundayand’s elections were a healthy democratic exercise since the turnout was remarkable and the elections were free and fair. and”The election stands as proof of the vibrancy and pluralism of Turkish democracy,and” Schulz said. Stating that the outcome of these elections now offers an opportunity to move from polarization to dialogue, to reinforce the checks and balances in the system, he said Turkey could now also face many challenges which include cooling economy and a testy foreign policy.
The pro-Kurdish Peoplesand’ Democratic Party (HDP)leared a 10 percent hurdle to enter parliament for the first time at Sundayand’s parliamentary elections, picking up 80 of 550 seats and smashing President Recep Tayyip Erdoganand’s hopes for a huge win for the governing Justice and Development Party (AK Party). The ruling party which won less than 41 percent of the national vote now needs a coalition partner to form the next government after getting hit with surprisingly strong losses in Sundayand’s vote. Schulz also expressed content for HDPand’s success, saying and”the entry into parliament of the HDP enriches the Turkish political landscape and offers an opportunity to reinvigorate the peace process, an opportunity which must be seized.and” Recalling that Turkey is a key EU partner and a candidate country, Schulz said although the EU and Turkey might not agree on all issues, they should never allow these differences to and”escalate into mystifications.and” and”As I made clear during my last visit, I will never refrain from highlighting the great contribution Turkey makes on the international stage, for example, in welcoming millions of refugees from Syria and Iraq. I am equally firm however in underlining setbacks such as the worrying state of freedom of expression or the independence of the judiciary. I look forward to working with the next government and with the new colleagues of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey to fortify EU-Turkey relations,and” he said. During a visit to Turkey in April, Schulz reportedly conveyed his concerns over growing authoritarian tendencies and reversal of reforms in Turkey to Turkish officals. andquotTurkey is sliding into authoritarianism. There is semi-authoritarian [governance] at the moment,andquot he was quoted as saying by the Turkish media.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman