The Prime Ministry’s Overseas Turks Agency (TYB) has begun working on making it possible for around 2.5 million Turkish expats to vote in Turkey’s elections. In March, the Supreme Election Board (YSK) announced that Turkish expatriates can only vote in the general elections at customs gates, causing displeasure among Turks in many countries.
Only about 10 percent of Turkey’s 2.5 million expats make the effort to go to the border to cast their vote. The YSK said it cannot allow electronic voting at Turkish missions abroad because the infrastructure for it is not yet in place.
TYB President Kemal Yurtnaç said the necessary steps will be taken to place ballot boxes at Turkish embassies or consulates in foreign countries so that Turkish expats residing there can vote. Yurtnaç said these steps will be taken following the formation of the new government and by joint efforts of the Justice Ministry, the Foreign Ministry and the YSK.
Yurtnaç said it is “debt of honor” for Turkey to enable Turkish expats to vote, adding that they will be able to vote in the next elections.
“We will make all the necessary amendments [to enable Turks living abroad to vote in Turkey’s elections]. This is the most crucial issue we are working on. We will solve this problem as soon as the new government is established,” Yurtnaç said.