High turnout prompts extra ballot boxes abroad

High turnout prompts extra ballot boxes abroad

High turnout prompts extra ballot boxes abroad

The number of expatriate votes cast in Türkiye’s upcoming elections has reached nearly 1.2 million, prompting the government to set up additional ballot boxes abroad.

More than 3.4 million Turkish citizens living abroad are eligible to vote for the presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for May 14 at home, around 277,000 of whom are first-time voters.

Over 1.16 million Turkish citizens living abroad have cast ballots, with more expected in the next week. This represents a significant increase from the 1 million ballots cast in the 2018 elections.

Accordingly, the Turkish government is preparing to establish additional ballot boxes in countries with large Turkish communities, including Germany, France, and the Netherlands. The government has also urged Turks living abroad to register to vote and participate in the democratic process.

Overseas votes could prove decisive as they could contribute to up to half a percentage point in the presidential polls and potentially sway the results.

Upon failure to agree with Germany, housing the most significant Turkish diaspora and also the highest number of voters with around 1.5 million, on the establishment of ballot boxes for the first time in nine cities, the Foreign Ministry applied to the Supreme Election Board (YSK) to increase the number of boxes near these regions.

The YSK decided to establish a total of 42 additional ballot boxes, eight each in Düsseldorf and Essen, six each in Stuttgart and Hannover, four each in Karlsruhe and Nürnberg, and two each in Frankfurt, Kassel and Münster. The board also agreed in a meeting to set up a total of 32 extra ballot boxes in France, the Netherlands, Austria and Luxembourg.

Türkiye carried ballot boxes to Belarus, Brazil, Estonia, Morocco, Montenegro, the Republic of Korea, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Portugal, Slovakia and Tanzania for the first time in the country’s history. The council, meanwhile, canceled the ballot box to be established in Sudan due to the escalating conflicts in the North African country.

Turkish citizens can cast their votes without needing to book an appointment until May 9 at designated election bureaus, and May 14 at border gates at 156 points across 73 countries, the YSK says.

In the event that the presidential election goes to the second round, citizens will cast votes between May 20 and 24 at the designated offices.

The YSK has also placed 4,671 polling stations at 46 border gates. In the event of a possible runoff, the voting process at customs will continue until 5 p.m. on May 28.