Berlin brands Istanbul vote re-run 'incomprehensible'

"Who holds the office of Istanbul's mayor can only be decided by the will of the Turkish voters," said German foreign minister.
Tuesday 07/05/2019
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas attends a press conference with Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard (Not Pictured) after their meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Mexico City, Mexico, May 2, 2019. (DPA)
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas attends a press conference with Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard (Not Pictured) after their meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Mexico City, Mexico, May 2, 2019. (DPA)

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Tuesday criticised plans to re-run Istanbul's mayoral election as "not transparent and incomprehensible to us."

"Who holds the office of Istanbul's mayor can only be decided by the will of the Turkish voters," Maas said in a statement.

"Maintaining democratic principles with transparent electoral conditions is our top priority."

Turkey's top election body on Monday ordered a rerun of March's Istanbul election after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) complained of "irregularities" and "organised crime."

The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has condemned the decision by Turkey's top election body to renew the election as "neither democratic nor legitimate."

However on Tuesday, Erdogan welcomed the controversial order to hold a fresh Istanbul election after complaints of corruption as the "best step" for the country.

With an estimated 2.9 million people of either Turkish citizenship or recent ancestry, Germany is home to the largest Turkish diaspora community worldwide.

But the close links between the two countries are also a source of tension, with German politicians regularly blasting illiberal moves by Erdogan.

(AFP)