President Erdoğan urges Turkish citizens living abroad to vote
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan waves as he addresses the audience during his visit in Karlsruhe, southwestern Germany, on May 10, 2015. Germany counts three million people of Turkish origin, the largest Turkish overseas expatriate community. AFP PHOTO / DANIEL ROLANDTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has urged Turkish citizens living abroad to cast their votes in the June 7 general elections.
Speaking at a rally in the German city of Karslruhe on May 10, Erdoğan noted that Turks living abroad would be able to vote in the countries where they reside in a general election for the first time next month.
“Haven’t you waited for this day for years? Haven’t you asked for years to be given this right?” he asked thousands of supporters at the Messe Arena.
“Despite all objections, my brothers abroad are able to cast their votes in the elections in Turkey,” he said.
Erdoğan said around 1.4 million Turkish citizens living in Germany would be able to vote and would be a “deciding force” in the election.
“The vote that you are eligible to cast is not just a vote. There is a saying: A nail keeps a hoof, a hoof keeps a horse, a horse keeps an army, an army keeps a country. I want you to have such mentality about your right to vote. Voting is not a burden, but a privilege and opportunity to have your voice heard,” he added.
Meanwhile, thousands of people gathered outside the venue in Karslruhe to protest Erdoğan.
Several people were injured in clashes between supporters and opponents of Erdoğan, according to German media reports. A police spokesperson said the clashes occurred after members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) approached Erdoğan’s supporters waiting to enter the venue.