Foreign Ministry rules out responsibility in appointment system for expat voters
Sevil Erkuş ANKARA
Photograph shows an official carrying bags of votes cast in Washington for the Turkish presidential elections.The Turkish Foreign Ministry has ruled out its responsibility in the appointment system that was used by Turkish expatriates in voting abroad.
The Foreign Ministry proposed a “flexible appointment” system for the overseas electorate to the Supreme Election Board’s (YSK), but the body refused, Deputy Foreign Minister Naci Koru told reporters on Aug. 7.
On May 26, a delegation from the Foreign Ministry headed by Koru had a meeting with the YSK chairman and one of its members and offered a flexible appointment system with which Turkish expats would be able to cast their votes, even if they did not make an online appointment.
“We said our diplomatic missions were capable to accommodate voters who did not make online appointments. But the YSK did not respond positively [to the idea],” Koru said.
The online application system was preferred both by the Foreign Ministry and by foreign governments for public order and security reasons, the deputy minister noted.
In response to criticism due to the short period of voting for the overseas electorate, which was only four days, Koru said it was a decision made by the YSK.
Presidential hopeful Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) have constantly been blaming the YSK for the low turnout among Turkish expatriates who were voting abroad.
The total number of Turkish constituents eligible to vote abroad is 2,780,757, but only 232,386 turned out to vote.