President nominees to seek expat vote

President nominees to seek expat vote

President nominees to seek expat vote

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will seek support of Turkish expatriates living in Europe.

Turkish expatriates will be entitled to vote in August’s presidential elections for the first time ever, with polling stations to be opened at 103 different diplomatic representations in 54 different countries.

Some 71 diplomatic mission buildings will serve as voting centers, while 32 other venues will be rented for voting as well.

Turkish expatriates need to ensure they are enrolled in the “Overseas Electoral Register” in order to cast their votes in the elections.

The Overseas Electoral Register is based on an address registration system. The exact number of voters is not certain yet, since the address declaration is ongoing, but Turkish authorities are making arrangements for 2,700,000 votes, which will amount to around 5 percent of the overall vote.

In Germany, a special voting arrangement is being conducted; final consent is expected from the German authorities for people to vote in seven provinces: Berlin, Hannover, Dusseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt, Munich and Karlsruhe. The Supreme Election Board (YSK) will set up ballot boards, including a public servant, one permanent, and one back up member from the three political parties that received the most votes in the last Parliament elections in Turkey.

In the past, Turks living abroad could vote in polling stations at border gates. However, the Turkish Parliament passed a law in 2012 allowing Turkish citizens living abroad to vote in general and presidential elections without having to come to Turkey in person, after a European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling found that the practice of forcing people to travel to vote was in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is planning a tour of European countries later this month, aiming to attract the votes of the nearly 2.6 million Turks living abroad.

On May 23, Erdoğan will depart for Germany, which has around 1.5 million potential Turkish voters. He had been expected to meet German leaders during the visit, but there is no scheduled appointment on his agenda, though a rally in Cologne has been scheduled.