Turks gains right to vote overseas

Turks gains right to vote overseas

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turks gains right to vote overseas

Hürriyet photo

Turkish citizens living abroad will be able to vote in Turkish elections in their countries of residence starting next year thanks to new legislation passed by Parliament.

Turkish citizens must put their name on the voter registration list and declare their addresses in order to cast their votes, a Turkish official said. More than 2 million Turks residing in foreign countries are expected to vote in upcoming elections, most likely in upcoming presidential elections in 2014, according to Turkish officials.

New legislation was published in the Official Gazette on May 18, 2012, but will not take effect until exactly one year later. Electoral information about Turkish voters will not be shared with the citizens’ countries of residence, officials said.

An electronic control system will be used for votes abroad in order to avoid people voting multiple times. Host countries should give permission to enable Turkish nationals to vote in their country of residence, the official said. The use of electronic voting mechanisms is awaiting approval from the High Election Board (YSK), the official said, while adding that voting by mail was not possible due to constitutional restrictions.