Three million Turkish citizens living abroad to begin voting in snap elections
Over three million Turkish expatriates will begin voting for the June 24 presidential and general elections on June 7, with the first group to cast their votes in the most distant land of all, Australia.
Six candidates are competing in the presidential race while eight political parties are taking part in the parliamentary elections, which were rescheduled to a year and a half before the original date following the parliament’s approval on April 20 of a joint proposal of the longtime ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) to hold snap elections.
Last April, the Turkish parliament passed a bill for early elections, cementing Turkey’s move to a presidential system—a much controversial step, criticized by numerous civic organizations as well as the EU, as a measure diverting from democratic standards.
The bill followed the referendum in which Turkish voters had approved the switch from a parliamentary system to a presidential one.
According to the electoral calendar this time around, the voting will begin on June 7 and end June 19 for Turkish expats, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Voting will be held from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. local time on weekdays and weekends at the foreign missions, the report said.
First votes in Australia
Turks living in Australia will be first to cast their votes due to the time difference.
Election bags will be brought to Turkey by Turkish Airlines planes and will be kept at a convention hall in the capital Ankara until the end of the voting on June 24, the agency reported.
Ballot boxes in 60 countries
A total of 3,049,065 people are registered for voting. They will be voting at 123 missions in 60 countries.
During last year’s constitutional referendum, Turkish expats voted at 120 missions in 57 countries. This year, Malta, Serbia, and Moldova were added to the list.
If there is a second round for the presidential election, voting will be held on June 30 and July 4.
Voting will span over 13 days in three countries and one day in 24 countries.
Turkish voters in Germany, France, and Austria will vote on June 7-19.
In Denmark, the voting dates are June 9-19.
Voting in Australia will be held on June 9-17.
In Norway, Turkish citizens will be able to vote on June 14-19.
Turkish voters in Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland will vote on June 15-19.
In the United Kingdom, Turkish citizens will be able to vote on June 16-19.
Turkish voters in Bulgaria, Canada and the Turkish Cyprus will vote on June 16-18.
In China, Russia, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Greece, Lebanon, Israel and Ukraine, the voting will be held on June 16-17.
Turkish voters in Azerbaijan, Iraq, Iran, Ireland, Spain, Egypt, Malta, Uzbekistan, and Serbia will be voting on June 17.
Turkish voters will be able to cast their votes also at custom gates between June 7 and June 24.