State Department spokesperson Robert Palladino was first asked to comment on the opposition victories in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, and Ankara, its capital two days after the elections held, on April 2nd during the state department briefing.
In an unexpected open statement, Palladino called on the Turkish government to declare its “acceptance of legitimate election results, which is essential”. The U.S. “expect[s] nothing less from Turkey, which has a long proud tradition in this respect”, he added.
Since the YSK announced its much-criticised decision to rerun the Istanbul election, Washington had been relatively silent compared to the remarks coming from European Union politicians, who denounced the decision in a series of statements on Tuesday.
Answering Ahval’s question over the situation in Turkey, a spokesperson from the State Department:
A free, fair and transparent electoral process is a fundamental pillar of any democracy. We expect a free, fair, and transparent electoral process to be fully respected by all involved so that the will of the voters is acknowledged in the results. A healthy Turkish democracy is in the interest of Turkey and its partners, including the United States, and helps ensure a stable, prosperous, and reliable Ally.
Guy Verhofstadt, former prime minister of Belgium, slammed the YSK ruling, saying, “This outrageous decision highlights how Erdoğan’s Turkey is drifting towards a dictatorship.”
European Commission chief Johannes Hahn said the Turkish Supreme Election Council (YSK) should make details of its ruling available for public scrutiny. The decision was made “in a highly politicised context,” Hahn said in a joint statement with Federica Mogherini, high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and security policy.
Turkish celebrities, former AKP government’s top officials and many other E.U. countries have publicly decried the decision and heavily criticised the Turkish government for cancelling the election.