More than 1.4 million Turkish expats have cast their absentee ballots ahead of the April 16 referendum on the constitutional amendment package, according to information obtained from anonymous sources.
Turkish citizens living abroad have cast their votes at 120 polling stations in 57 countries between March 27 and April 9. According to the results, 1,326,070 Turkish citizens voted abroad and this figure indicates a 47.1-percent participation rate.
As for April 9, a total of 73,976 people voted at customs gates in Turkey, while ballot boxes at the border points will remain open until April 16.
Including custom gates as of the end of April 9, the total number of votes cast abroad reached 1,400,046. This figure was 1,326,070 in the November 2015 general elections, indicating a 14.3-percent increase.
Turkey's Supreme Election Board (YSK) records show that there are 2,972,676 Turkish expatriates eligible to vote in the referendum. Turkish expats have been able to vote since 2014 and the April 16 referendum is the fourth time expats have had the opportunity to vote in Turkish elections.
In the 2014 presidential election, the absentee voter turnout was 8 percent and this figure rose to 40 percent in the November 2015 general election. Thus, a 47.10 percent turnout in the referendum indicates a new record.
In Germany there are 1,430,127 eligible Turkish voters and 697,435 of them voted in the referendum while 148,431 voters went to the polls in France and 123,454 in the Netherlands.
In the U.S., 34,522 people voted, representing a 35 percent turnout, which is higher than that of the November 2015 general elections.
In New Zealand, only 187 Turkish expats voted, making it the country with the lowest participation rate for Turkish voters among 57 countries.