With the voter turnout going up steadily over the past week, voting for Turks abroad ended Tuesday in the presidential and parliamentary elections - scheduled for June 24 in Turkey.
Nearly 3.5 million Turkish expats are eligible to vote, making them an important part of the political parties' election campaign.
The ballots will be brought to Turkey by Turkish Airlines and will be kept at a convention hall in capital Ankara until the end of voting in mainland Turkey on June 24.
According to the Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) International Coordination Center for Foreign Election, some 681,257 people cast their ballots on June 15. On June 15, the first day of Ramadan Bayram, a total of 105 thousand 376 citizens cast their votes.
Polling stations at different U.S. cities, including New York, Washington D.C., Boston, Miami, Houston, Chicago and Los Angeles closed at 8 p.m. local time on Sunday.
Out of some 40,000 registered Turkish voters in New York, 12,845 went to the polls, Ertan Yalçın, Turkish consul general in New York, told Anadolu Agency (AA).
The head of Presidency for Turks Aboard and Related Communities (YTB), Abdullah Eren, said Saturday that they carried out a campaign for expats, under the slogan "Strong Diaspora, Strong Turkey."
He added that after the elections a subcommittee in the Parliament will be established for the Turks abroad. "In addition, a commission for our citizens abroad will be established in regions where we have consulates," Eren said at the Turkish consulate in Cologne, Germany.
Eren said that the commissions will work in coordination with Ankara to find more effective solutions to the problems of Turkish citizens living abroad. He expected that the number of voters will exceed that of previous elections. In the Nov. 1, 2015, general elections, 44.7 percent of the electorate abroad participated in elections, while 36.8 percent participated in the June 7 elections. In the April 16, 2017 referendum 44.8 percent of Turkish expats participated, of which 59.4 percent voted "Yes" and 40.4 percent said "No" to the constitutional changes.
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