Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today on this weekend's referendum in Turkey:
“Turkey is a vital NATO ally, and its people deserve the freedoms and democratic institutions of government for which our alliance has fought to uphold. I am deeply concerned that the close and disputed constitutional referendum this weekend will weaken democracy in Turkey and lead to a further weakening of the Turkish people's right to a free press, free expression of dissenting views, and freedom to hold their elected leaders accountable. I am also concerned about the message President Trump's quickness to endorse the results will send to Turkey's leaders about the need for them to remain committed to democracy, rule of law, and human rights. His call to President Erdogan seemed premature and may possibly have undermined the work of international election monitors.
“I hope that the Erdogan government will allow the opposition's request for a thorough accounting of the vote totals. If the referendum has indeed passed, I urge President Erdogan to show appropriate restraint in the exercise of his new powers in order to reassure the Turkish people and the world of his commitment to real democracy and secular government. I urge the Trump Administration to emphasize the importance of doing so to President Erdogan and his government.”