The Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a delegation of 10 people to Tunisia to observe the founding parliamentary elections in the country following the democracy seeking movement that is called the Arab Spring which was first sparked in Tunisia. The delegation headed by SAM Vice Chairman Dr. Mesut Ozcan was responsible for observing the proper and democratic implementation of the elections that was to compose the parliament in charge of writing of a new constitution and carrying Tunisia to general elections.
Participation of a total of 661 observers from institutions such as the European Parliament, the Arab League, the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe, and the Organization of Islamic Conference was a clear indication of the importance that the world gives to the first elections in the region in the post-Arab Spring era. In addition to the members of the Turkish Embassy in Tunisia, members of our Ministry supported the democratic process in the country along with the financial assistance it made to the country. Parliamentarians from different Turkish parties were also in Tunisia.
The election turnout was as high as over 90% in the country in which a little over 50% of the eligible voters registered for voting. The general conviction of the observers from different countries was that the elections were fair and transparent. It was evident that the opportunity to have a real say in their future for the first time was a determining factor in the high turnout in addition to the high level of education in the country. Despite small technical glitches in this first democratic experience, Tunisian showed the signs that they will be distinguished from others in the region both because they ousted their dictator relatively peacefully and conducted the elections smoothly.
The Turkish delegation of observers had both the opportunity to witness a historical process and learn about the perceptions of Turkey and our policies in the field. Our delegation observed that all Turkish representatives are welcomed in Tunisia as well as Prime Minister H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister H.E. Ahmet Davutoglu who recently visited the country.
Turkish delegation of election observation in Tunisia included Dr. Mesut Ozcan, head of departments from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ahmet Basar Sen and Refik Ali Onaner, Associate Prof. Murat Cemrek (Selcuk University), Associate Prof. Veysel Ayhan (Abant Izzet Baysal University), Assistant Prof. Hasan Kosebalaban (Istanbul Sehir University), Assistant Prof. Ibrahim Mazlum (Marmara University), research assistant Muzaffer Senel (Marmara University) and researchers Ufuk Ulutas and Furkan Torlak (SETA).