For the first time in Turkey’s history, Turkish citizens who live in a foreign country will be able to vote in the elections. Turkey’s envoy to Berlin says that the number of voters is 3 million. This is a significant number given that it corresponds with 7 percent of the total number of voters, and the winner is determined by a small margin in the second round of the presidential elections. Unfortunately, we are not well prepared for these elections, which will take place abroad for the first time. I believe that there will be many problems in how the election is handled and carried out. Half of the voters in Europe live in Germany (1.4 million). Five hundred ballot boxes are reserved for these voters. It appears that there will be 3,000 voters for each box, the voters will have to sign up for a time to vote and the boxes will be stationed in predominantly Turkish areas.
The voters will have to travel a long distance, which may be up to 500 kilometers, as the envoy said the distance [between ballot boxes] will be a maximum 250 kilometers. This distance could be even longer in France, where Turks are not predominant. In addition, there are fears of election fraud given that a large number of voters will have to use the same box and that the votes will be counted in Turkey, not in front of observers abroad.
It is not realistic to expect that all observers will serve as guardians in the election process, which will last for several days in Europe. In addition, the fears of fraud are not baseless given that the boxes will be locked and remain so for days, a period during which they will not be checked. It will also not possible to check whether or not a box sent from the election venue is the same as the one received at the airport. For this reason, if the votes cast in Europe become determinative in the election results, they will be undermined. I believe that the voter turnout will be low and that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) will perform below its average in Turkey.
Full Article: Voters in Europe.