İHD Elections Observation Report

This report incorporates observations and evaluations by the Human Rights Association (İHD) during and after the presidential and 28th term parliamentary elections held on 14 May 2023 and the runoff of the presidential elections held on 28 May 2023.

İHD closely monitors the right to vote and to be elected both through its independent work and through the “Independent Election Monitoring Platform” established with the Association for Monitoring Equal Rights (ESHİD) as well as the “Election Security Platform” of which İHD is a part. İHD is aware of the contribution that its long-standing work in this context will make to the fair conduct of elections and the protection and promotion of human rights.

Citizens, candidates and political parties must be allowed to make propaganda freely in order for elections to be held in a fair and safe manner. In Turkey, however, there are restrictive legal regulations and very harsh practices beyond legal regulations against freedom of expression. The latest instance of such restrictive legislation is the “Law on the Amendment of the Press Law and Certain Laws,” commonly known as the “disinformation law” which entered into force on October 18, 2022.[1] İHD, which has numerous reports and statements on freedom of expression and the general situation, informs the relevant institutions and the public through these reports. Most recently, on December 12, 2022, İHD published a report titled “The State of Turkey before the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections”[2] and shared a comprehensive analysis on the issue.

After President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan signed the election decree on March 10, 2023 and the Supreme Electoral Council, which is responsible for conducting and ensuring the security of elections in Turkey, published its calendar for the Presidential and 28th term parliamentary elections on March 18, İHD intensified its reporting and monitoring activities during the election process. İHD initiated intensive work on this issue both through its headquarters and branches. In the last presidential and 28th parliamentary elections, İHD conducted “independent election monitoring” with its 450 members and executives in 27 branches and 7 representative offices.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) also monitored the latest elections through its election monitoring mission of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) with its long-term and short-term experts. Within this framework, the OSCE delegation shared its interim report covering the period March 22 – April 25 with the public on April 28, 2023 and its first findings report on May 15, 2023.

İHD drafted a report on rights violations that took place both before and after the elections. In addition to the allegations of violations submitted by İHD members and executives, violation allegations reported by the press have also been added to the current report. A detailed breakdown of the rights violations can be found in the following parts. These rights violations are listed under three groups as rights violations before the elections, during the elections and during the ballot-counting process.

[1] https://www.resmigazete.gov.tr/eskiler/2022/10/20221018-1.htm

[2] https://ihd.org.tr/en/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/sr20221205_IHD-Elections-Report.pdf


To read the full report in English please click: sr2023June_Election Observation