Turkish citizens living abroad have not been rushing to the ballot box for Turkey’s presidential elections, as only a small number of citizens have obtained an appointment to cast their vote. In the past, Turks living abroad could vote in polling stations at border gates. But on average, only 7 percent of the 2.6 million potential overseas voters voted in previous elections. With recent changes to the Election Law, however, the overseas electorate can vote at embassies, consulates and other designated areas in their country of residence between July 31 and Aug. 3. However, the amendment failed to significantly raise the expatriate voter turnout as only around 180,000 Turkish national have registered to vote overseas. A majority of the more than 2.7 million eligible voters living abroad may not be able to cast ballots in the presidential elections as they failed to make an appointment to vote through the website of the High Election Board (YSK).
A total of 178,959 Turkish voters have taken an online appointment to vote abroad in the first round of the presidential elections. The exact number of voters who have obtained an appointment for both the first and a possible second round of the elections is 248,285.
The total number of Turkish electorate living abroad is 2,734,429, according to the YSK’s data, constituting 5 percent of the total number eligible to vote. The number of Turkish voters living in Germany is 1,380,909. However, only 92,092 voters have registered to vote in the first round of the elections.
The low expected turnout has been attributed to the fact that many Turkish nationals were not informed that they had to register their addresses at the embassies or consulates in their cities of residence in order to obtain an appointment. Some voters also did not know how to use the Internet system, resulting in their failure to register.
Full Article: Turkish expats not keen on voting abroad – POLITICS.