Higher number of votes cast at Turkey’s western customs gates than east

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 01.08.2014 16:07
Updated 02.08.2014 15:48
Higher number of votes cast at Turkey’s western customs gates than east

Turkish citizens who live abroad, but are currently in Turkey, continued to cast their ballots for the Aug. 10 presidential election in which the president will be elected by a popular vote for the first time in the country's history. While nearly 13,000 Turkish voters went to the ballot boxes at the Turkish-Bulgarian border crossing in the western city of Edirne, only one voter cast a ballot at the Turkish-Iranian border crossing in the southeastern city of Hakkari. According to the Edirne Election Board, the number of booths were increased at the Kapıkule border crossing due to the huge amount of expat Turks. Turkey's eastern customs gates have received less interest by expat Turks currently in Turkey compared to those in the west. No electorates have yet casted a vote at the Kapıköy border crossing in the eastern city of Van. Forty-eight expat Turks voted at the Türkgözü border crossing in the northeastern city of Ardahan. Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), District Governor of Posof in Ardahan province, Halil Şivgan, stated that around 10 expat Turks voted at the Türkgözü custom gate.

Şivgan said, "There has been no problem [with the voting process] and we [officials] do our best to ensure a safe and democratic voting process."

Only 12 expat Turks have voted at the Habur customs gate in the southeastern city of Şırnak province's Silopi district since voting at customs gates began on July 26.

Voting has also been continuing at the Sarp border crossing between Turkey and Georgia in the northeastern city of Artvin. Expat Turks in this region can also vote at the airport in the southern city of Trabzon. Casting his vote at Trabzon Airport, Ömer Satılmış, an expat Turk who lives in Belgium, said that this was the first time he cast a vote since 1994.

Mümin Atmaca, a Turkish citizen who has lived in Germany for 35 years, said that he is happy about the new amendment on the presidential election and that it was the first time he voted since he started living in Germany.

Salih Şakar, who voted at the Sarp customs gate, said that a president elected by a popular vote will be more beneficial for the country.
828 expat Turks at Bodrum-Milas airport, 521 at Dalaman airport, 30 at Marmaris Port, 37 at Fethiye Port and 75 at Bodrum Port have cast their votes for the presidential election in western Turkey.

According to the electoral schedule of the Supreme Election Board (YSK), Turks who live abroad but presently are in Turkey can vote at the gates until the first round of the election is held on Aug. 10. If one of the candidates does not receive an absolute majority, voters will be able to cast their votes between Aug. 17 and Aug. 24 for the second round of the election. Turks living abroad are able to vote at one of the 42 customs stations, including land gates, airports and ports.

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