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Turkey: 53 million voters head for key parliamentary polls

7th Jun 2015

Ankara, (Hurriyet Daily News)  A total of 53,741,838 voters in Turkey go to the ballot boxes on June 7, between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to cast their votes, which will reshuffle the 550-seat parliament and also define the new government for the next four years.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has framed the general election as a key hurdle on the path to the powerful presidential system that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wants to introduce.

However, if the Kurdish problem-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) crosses the 10 percent election threshold, the number of AKP lawmakers will decrease considerably, making it almost impossible to reach the 330 seats necessary for a constitutional change.

The state will maintain security on election day with 404,000 security personnel, Interior Minister Sebahattin Öztürk has said, noting that 300,000 of the forces would be police officers.

Election safety has been a hot item on the agenda during campaigning ahead of the June 7 vote. Regarding ballot box security, Öztürk said security personnel will remain 15 meters away from ballot boxes.

The electorates, of which 27,248,508 are female and 26,493,330 are male, will need to present a valid identification card with their personal Turkish Republic identity number printed on it before being allowed to vote.

Once the electorate’s identity is verified, they are given a ballot paper and a stamp saying either “Evet” (yes) or “Tercih” (preference).

The voter needs to cast their vote by pressing the stamp within one of the circles underneath either a political party or an independent deputy candidate. Stamps crossing over the border of the circle will be invalid. The ballot paper then needs to be folded without any marks being made on another place on the paper and placed in an envelope.

The ballot papers must have the Supreme Election Board’s (YSK)’s watermark on them, and voters will not be allowed to enter the polling station with cellphones, cameras or any kind of communication or screen recording devices. Such devices need to be given to the head of the poll board, while the officials at the ballot boxes do not have the right to conduct body searches for these devices.

The elections will be held across the country in all of its 81 provinces in 174,236 ballot boxes, and a total of 73,988,955 ballot papers has been printed, packaged and sent to the district election boards, YSK head Sadi Güven said on June 2.

The participation of Turkish citizens abroad in the June 7 elections was around 35.9 percent, with 1,031,526 out of a total 2,866,970 electorates abroad casting their votes in 54 countries at 112 voting stations set up by the YSK. While the international polls were closed on the evening of May 31, voting at customs gates and airports for Turkish citizens abroad will continue until 5 p.m. on June 7.

One Response to “Turkey: 53 million voters head for key parliamentary polls”

Ian Barnettt.June 7, 2015

53 Million ‘voters’ and not a brain between them = 53 million wimps.


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