The votes cast by Turkish citizens living abroad for the presidential election runoff, slated for May 28 at home, have reached the capital Ankara, TurkicWorld reports citing Hürriyet Daily News.
Votes cast at the ballot boxes reinstalled at 167 points in 151 representative offices across 73 countries were brought to Türkiye by “diplomatic couriers” under high security after voting at diplomatic missions ended on May 24.
All overseas votes will be delivered and stored in a safe area at the ATO Congresium exhibition center in the Turkish capital. They will be opened simultaneously with the others at home on May 28, after voting is completed across the country.
Over 1.9 million expatriates cast their votes abroad till early May 26, as the number is expected to exceed 2 million by the deadline.
The number of votes cast in the ballot boxes set up abroad has already surpassed the first round’s figures, though the voting continues at the customs gates till May 28.
More than 1.83 million citizens cast their votes at Türkiye’s overseas representations and customs in the first round, which indicates a participation rate of 52.6 percent.
Overseas votes could prove decisive as they could contribute up to half a percentage point in the presidential polls and potentially sway the results.
Both contenders, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and opposition bloc’s leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, have long called on the Turkish diaspora to go to polling stations and vote for the second round.
“I ask you to exercise your democratic right by closely following the election dates in your countries,” Erdoğan tweeted last week.
Kılıçdaroğlu, similarly, described the voting of Turks living abroad in the second round as a “patriotic duty.”