The PES supports its sister parties ahead of the elections in Turkey
On Sunday 7 June, Turkish citizens will choose the 550 members who will represent them in the Turkish Parliament. The elections are taking place in a climate of increased restrictions of freedom, imposed by President Erdoğan of the leading AKP Party. Recent crackdowns on media channels, journalists and social media networks have made it difficult for political parties to campaign. The electoral threshold of 10 per cent also represents a huge obstacle for smaller parties wanting to take part in the democratic debate.
"The elections on Sunday are a big test for Turkey", said PES President Sergei Stanishev, "Our sister parties CHP and HDP have run a good campaign. CHP has concrete proposals, including raising the minimum wage, which will improve the lives of millions of Turkish citizens. They also support the lowering of the election threshold to 5%, an important step forward for democracy."
Even though Turkey has seen enormous economic progress in the last decade, the last few years have known a decline in fundamental freedoms. The Gezi protests of 2013, which started out as a reaction against the construction of a shopping centre in a public park, ended up representing an outcry of the people against the curtailing of their rights.
"We believe that our sister parties can provide for real democratic change", continues Sergei Stanishev. "This is time for a renewal. CHP and HDP have an invaluable role to play in the future of Turkey. We will follow the elections with great attention, observing that they are free and fair. We hope for a positive, democratic and progressive outcome."