Following this week’s media clamp down in Turkey, less than a week before the extraordinary elections, S&D Group Vice-President, Knut Fleckenstein, said:
"In the final phase of the election campaign, independent and critical media is vitally important and the suppression of the media by the Turkish government is completely unacceptable. With enormous pressure on government-critical media and censorship, president Erdoğan is desperately trying to achieve an absolute majority for his party in this Sunday’s elections.
"However, Turkish people in the June elections have shown that they want a representative coalition government and it is doubtful that these steps help the AK Party to get more votes; they can only shed doubt on free and fair elections. Europe cannot watch this process silently, but we have to support democratic parties.
"That is why the S&D Group fully supports our sister parties, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) in their efforts for more democracy in Turkey.
"The S&D Group will continue to support the European aspirations of Turkey and call on all political forces to fully respect human rights and fundamental freedoms."
S&D MEP Ismail Ertug added:
" Erdoğan’s Turkey is on the road to autocracy. That is neither good for Turkey nor for the EU. The elections on November 1st are a decision on Turkey’s way for the future – and therefore crucial."