Now that election campaigning for the Nov. 1 early elections is underway, Republican People's Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu is to spend his Qurban Bayram holiday visiting European countries boasting large Turkish communities. Turkish voters abroad are to begin voting on Oct. 8 with election fever gripping expat Turks and a considerable turnout is expected. In the June 7 elections, the CHP was ranked as the third leading party in Germany, Belgium, France and the second party in the Netherlands. Turkey's Supreme Election Board (YSK) announced that there are 2,866,979 Turkish citizens abroad who are eligible to vote; the expat vote is deemed critical not only by the CHP, but also by all other political parties.
Kılıçdaroğlu had traveled to Germany prior to the June 7 elections for a day only, while he is now to visit Western European countries on a five-day trip. With efforts to increase votes and not repeat its failure in the June 7 elections, Kılıçdaroğlu is to visit Switzerland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Austria. Sources have said Kılıçdaroğlu will travel to Zurich and then Strasburg on Wednesday.
He will then continue to Brussels and spend the first day of Qurban Bayram with the Turkish community living in Brussels and Amsterdam on Thursday. Continuing his visits Friday in Cologne and Frankfurt, he will then visit Mannheim and Munich on Saturday and prior to returning to Turkey, he will make several appearances in Vienna on Sunday.
In the June 7 elections the CHP had received 16 percent of the vote in Germany, 10 percent of the vote in Austria,10.9 percent of the vote in Belgium and 17 percent of the vote in Switzerland.