Observers have said the Turkish referendum fell short of international standards, arguing both sides did not have equal campaign opportunities. Turkey's president said monitors should not criticize, but know their place.
International election observers from the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) reported on Monday that Turkey's constitutional referendum was contested on "an unlevel playing field."
Despite the technical aspects of the voting process being well administered, voters weren't provided with impartial information on key aspects of what they were voting for, the joint mission of the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) said in a statement.
"The referendum took place in a political environment in which fundamental freedoms essential to a genuinely democratic process were curtailed under the state of emergency, and the two sides did not have equal opportunities to make their case to the voters," Tana de Zulueta, head of the ODIHR limited election observation mission, said.Media coverage was dominated by the "yes" campaign, de Zulueta said, a factor which, along with the arrests of journalists and the closure of media outlets, "reduced voters' access to a plurality of views."