As the political parties are about to reveal the new election manifestos, which are expected to be full of promises and populist rhetoric, they also seek crucial overseas votes for the Nov 1 elections. According to Turkey's Supreme Election Board (YSK), 2.8 million Turkish people who are living abroad are eligible to vote and the ballot boxes will be established for expat voters in 113 Turkish diplomatic missions in 54 countries. Thus, for the estimated 80 percent of overseas voters living in the five European countries, namely in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Austria, political parties are organizing rallies, alongside Turkey.
Turkey's main opposition party, The Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, was the first leader who started the election campaign abroad. Kılıçdaroğlu visited Switzerland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Austria last week. Likewise Peoples Democracy Party (HDP) leader Selahattin Demirtaş paid a visit to several European countries in recent days. Moreover, the leader of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Ahmet Davutoğlu is preparing his visit to Germany this weekend, after returning to the country from the UN General Assembly meetings. In the June 7 elections more than 1 million Turkish citizens living abroad had voted, causing three seats in Parliament to change hands between parties. The AK Party, who got almost half of the expat votes, increased its number of deputies to 258 from 256. Likewise the HDP, which got the second most absentee votes, increased its number of deputies from 79 to 80 with the help of expat votes. On the other hand, the CHP and MHP lost seats due to a shift in the balance of expat votes toward the AK Party.