Saturday, 21 September 2019 09:11 GMT

Turks abroad continue to cast votes for election

(MENAFN - The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) About 71, 000 Turkish people living abroad have voted in the country's 25th general elections to date, Turkish consulates have reported.

Turkish people living abroad, mostly in Europe, began casting their votes on May 8 and will continue until May 31.

A total of 3,883 Turks voted over four days in Belgium, the Turkey's Consul General in Brussels said on Tuesday.

Voters have to bring their national ID card, passport or document which shows an ID number, in order to be eligible to cast their vote.

Turkey's Consul General in Brussels, Ali Baris Ulusoy, told Anadolu Agency that voting was continuing with a high level of participation.

Four additional ballots will be placed in the Brussels and Anvers provinces of Belgium at the weekend, Ulusoy said.

In the first four days of early voting, 45,000 Turkish people voted in Germany, 4,343 in Austria, 12,402 in France and 5,027 in Switzerland.

Turkey's Supreme Election Board had announced that 112 polling stations will serve the almost 3 million Turkish nationals living abroad.

June's contest will be to elect 550 members of parliament from 20 political parties competing in the country's 25th general elections.

Voting booths open at 11 a.m. local time (1000GMT) for Turkish nationals in Germany, France, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland and Denmark.

Turks in Australia were the first to vote due to the time difference.

Elections in Turkey have the second-highest voter turnout among developed democracies, according to a report released by the Washington D.C.-based Pew Research Center.

More than 84 percent of the electorate went to the polls in the 2011 general election, according to the report comparing turnout rates in Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development member states.

Although voting is mandatory in Turkey, the laws are not strictly enforced.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, more than 5 million Turks live abroad, including around 4 million in Western Europe, 300,000 in North America, 200,000 in the Middle East and 150,000 in Australia.

Those eligible are able to vote at 112 polling stations in 54 countries between Friday and May 31 while polling stations for Turkish ex-pats are open at border posts and airports until June 7.

Next month's general election will see 550 members of parliament selected from candidates representing 20 political parties.

Turks abroad continue to cast votes for election

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