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Anasayfa > English > Turkish expats start voting in referendum
Turkish expats start voting in referendum

Turkish expats start voting in referendum

27.03.2017 20:33 12 14 16 18 yazdır
Voting abroad will last until April 9

Turkish citizens living in Europe started casting their ballots on Monday in Turkey's April 16 constitutional referendum for a transition to a presidential system of governance. 

In Germany, where nearly half of 3 million Turkish immigrants are eligible to vote, hundreds went in the morning hours to the consulates and other polling stations in several cities across the country. 

Ali Kemal Aydin, Turkey's ambassador to Germany, told reporters at the Turkish Consulate General in Berlin that Turkish expats could cast their ballots at one of the 13 polling stations between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m until April 9. 

Ballot boxes will be available at Turkish consulates in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Karlsruhe, Cologne, Mainz, Munster and Stuttgart and other polling stations in Dortmund, Hannover, Munich and Nuremberg. 

Turkish politicians in Germany are expecting a bigger turnout in the constitutional referendum, compared with the November 2015 early general elections, when only 40 percent of eligible Turkish voters in Germany voted to elect Turkey's next government. 

The voting has begun amid a diplomatic standoff between Turkey and Germany, after German local authorities banned earlier in March most of the rallies of Turkish ministers who favored a presidential system of governance, citing concerns of security. 

Several German politicians have publicly campaigned against the proposed presidential system, drawing sharp criticism from the Turkish government, which accused German politicians of interfering in Turkey's internal affairs.

Voting has also begun at Turkish diplomatic missions in Austria, France, Belgium, Switzerland and Denmark.

There are approximately 326,000 Turkish citizens eligible to vote in France, 130,000 in Belgium, 110,000 in Austria, 95,000 in Switzerland and 33,000 in Denmark.

Voting is scheduled to begin later in Turkish missions in other countries, but all will end on April 9.

Around 3 million eligible Turkish expats are expected to vote in 120 Turkish missions in 57 countries.

Voting also started Monday at Istanbul's Ataturk International and Sabiha Gokcen airports as part of the referendum on constitutional changes.

A total of 12 ballot boxes have been placed at Ataturk International Airport, where voting will continue until April 16.

There are 55.3 million eligible voters in Turkey.

The constitutional changes have been discussed since Erdogan was voted president in August 2014. The 18-article bill was passed by parliament in January.

The reforms would hand wide-ranging executive powers to the president and the post of prime minister would be abolished. The president would also be allowed to retain ties to a political party.

Other changes would see the minimum age for parliamentary candidates reduced to 18 and the number of deputies rise to 600. 

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