Two European parliamentarians has been barred from entering Turkey ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections on Sunday.
The bans for the two parliamentarians from Germany and Sweden, European countries that are home to large ethnic Turkish communities, are fueling concerns among rights activists that voting irregularities will go unchecked.
According to a report by Deutsche Welle (DW), the Turkish government has blocked German parliamentarian Andrej Hunko from traveling to the country to serve as an election observer ahead of this Sunday’s polls
The Turkish government accuses Hunko, a member of the German Bundestag for the Left Party (Die Linke), of supporting the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Hunko was set to travel to Turkey before being notified by the OSCE that he would be denied entry.
Hunko told Germany’s DPA news agency that the OSCE informed him of the Turkish ambassador’s announcement shortly before his flight from Vienna to Ankara was to depart. Hunko, who is also a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) for the Left Party, participated as an OSCE election observer in the April 2017 constitutional referendum in Turkey. The German Foreign Ministry said it was seeking to have the ban lifted.