Home Page >> TURKEY 26 October 2015, Monday 08:58

Only half of Turkish expats voted in upcoming Turkish general election

Only half of Turkish expats voted in upcoming Turkish general electionNearly 1.5 million of the 3 million Turkish citizens living abroad did not vote in the Turkish general election, scheduled for Nov. 1 in Turkey itself, with voting ending at 9 p.m. on Sunday in the voters' respective countries.

Commentators have speculated that the reasons why Turkish expats chose not to vote are that fact that many of them reside far from polling stations and the government's failure to keep its promises to solve the problems regarding education, issues surround the status of the Kurdish language and dual citizenship.

A total of 2,895,885 Turkish citizens living abroad were able to vote starting on Oct. 8, with
polling stations set up at 113 Turkish diplomatic missions in 54 countries. Turkish expats' voting participation rate reached 45 percent, surpassing that of the June 7 election.

In some Western European countries where a large number of Turkish citizens live, the voting participation rate reached 50 percent. As many as 650,000 Turkish nationals voted in Germany alone. According to a recent decision by the Supreme Election Board (YSK), ballot boxes at customs gates at the Turkish border will remain open until 5 p.m. on Nov. 1.

According to the “Gurbetin Oyları” (Votes From Abroad) initiative, which aims to sustain an impartial, transparent and fair environment for Turkish citizens to vote abroad, around 5 percent of the total vote count in the general election could come from Turkish citizens living abroad, which could have a huge effect on the result.

The ballot boxes from foreign countries will be brought to Turkey in sealed bags in airplanes assigned for the purpose. The counting process will start in Ankara on Nov. 1, at the same time as the counting of ballot boxes in Turkey.

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