People walk past posters of Meral Aksener, the presidential candidate of nationalist opposition IYI (Good) Party, in Istanbul, Thursday, June 21, 2018. Aksener, 61, who split from Turkey's main nationalist party following a spat with its leader over his support to Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkey holds parliamentary and presidential elections on June 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

German lawmaker says Turkey bars him as election observer

June 21, 2018 - 9:18 am

BERLIN (AP) — A German lawmaker says the Turkish government is denying him entry to the country as an international observer in this weekend's elections.

Andrej Hunko, of the opposition Left Party, said Turkey's ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe informed the Vienna-based group of the decision as he was about to take off for Ankara on Thursday. It wasn't immediately clear on what grounds he was refused entry.

Hunko has been an observer of previous elections in Turkey, including last year's constitutional referendum. He criticized the conditions in which that vote was held, and was accused by the government of sympathizing with the outlawed PKK Kurdish rebel group — which Hunko denies.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is seeking re-election in a Sunday vote that will expand presidential powers.

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