On May 6, the Turkish Supreme Election Council (YSK) ordered a rerun of the mayoral race in Istanbul, won in March by the oppositional CHP Party candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu. The decision followed extraordinary appeals by the ruling AK Party, which contested the initially certified outcome of these elections. Socialist and Democrats condemn this decision as one-sided in favour of the AK Party and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who cannot accept that they lost the elections.

“The decision by the YSK to wipe away a crushing defeat for President Erdoğan is a totally political one. It clearly favours the AK Party and is further proof of Turkish democratic backsliding. We have not seen any proof of the claimed irregularities. The only goal seems to change the democratic result of the March elections that were a humiliating defeat for Erdoğan and his party. This decision will have consequences for the future Turkey-EU relations and on Turkish EU candidate status,” said Udo Bullmann, President of S&D Group.

“We join the call by High Representative Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Johannes Hahn to the Turkish authorities to extend their invitation to international observers, such as the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, to observe the re-run elections,” he added.