Turks abroad form long lines to vote in runoff elections

Turks abroad form long lines to vote in runoff elections

Turks abroad form long lines to vote in runoff elections

Nearly 500,000 Turkish citizens living abroad have cast their ballots in the presidential election runoff in just one day, causing long queues at the country’s foreign representations.

At some overseas representations and customs gates, Turkish citizens had to wait for hours, as in the first round, while the voter figures are expected to surpass that of two weeks ago, according to the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) representative to the Supreme Election Council (YSK), Recep Özel.

Around 471,000 expatriates cast their votes at representations and customs till the evening of May 20, when the voting process started abroad, the YSK said.

Turkish citizens can cast their votes without booking an appointment until May 24 at designated election bureaus and May 28 at border gates.

The election board has reinstalled ballot boxes at 167 points in 151 representative offices across 73 countries for the runoff slated for May 28 at home.

Germany, housing the most significant Turkish diaspora, also has the highest number of voters, with more than 1.5 million people eligible to vote, the YSK revealed. Turks living in Germany are able to cast votes in 26 different representative offices.

Germany is followed by France and the Netherlands, where 397,086 and 286,753 voters live, respectively.

Contrary to the YSK’s schedule specifying the period when expatriates would be able to cast their ballots at foreign offices between May 20 and 24, the Turkish Embassy in Washington announced that Turks would be able to cast their votes on May 20 and 21.

Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy chairs Muharrem Erkek and Bülent Tezcan appealed to the YSK to extend the voting time. The election board then again outlined the voting period in these countries back to the date on the original calendar.

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

More than 1.8 million citizens cast their votes at Türkiye’s overseas representations and customs in the first round, which indicates a participation rate of 52.6 percent.

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