Turkish board says no voting abroad in upcoming general elections in June
Head of Turkey's higher board of election on Wednesday said Turks living abroad will not be able to cast their votes in their countries of residence, but they will have to go to the ballot boxes at custom gates, Anadolu News Agency reported.
"There is infrastructure work to be done to set up ballot boxes and for their online linking to prevent multiple voting as well as for online voting," Ali Em, chairman of the Supreme Election Board (YSK), told reporters.
The board's decision was made in a meeting last Saturday, drawing heavy criticism from Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
"This is a slap in the face to our citizens' right to vote. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said there is no problem on Germany?s part. The YSK made that decision while I was discussing the issue there [in Germany]. Are you sabotaging me? The YSK openly violates our expatriates right to vote," Erdogan had said.
There are over 1.3 million Turkish voters in Germany alone with nearly 1.2 million others residing in countries such as France, Belgium and the Netherlands. However, only about 10 percent of them make the effort to go to the border to cast their vote.
Germany has cleared the way for its Turks to cast their votes in Turkish embassies and consulates there.