Three ballot boxes have been set up for voting at the Turkish embassy in Qatar between 1-7 May.
Thousands of Turkish expats in Qatar are heading to their embassy in Doha to take part in voting for the presidential and parliamentary elections.
More than 10,000 Turkish voters have registered to vote at the embassy, where three ballot boxes have been set up for voting between 9am-9pm between 1-7 May, according to the Qatar’s News Agency (QNA)
“We attach importance to the participation of our citizens abroad in political life in our country by voting wherever they are,” Mustafa Goksu, Turkish ambassador to Qatar, said in a statement to Doha News.
“We have created the legal infrastructure for our citizens living abroad to vote in the Presidential Elections, Parliamentary Elections and Referendums held in our country[…]It is pleasing that the interest of our citizens in the elections steadily increases in each election,” the ambassador added.
Reflecting on the presidential elections of 2014, in which current President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed victory, Goksu said the voter turnout was 18.94%. The figure then increased in the 2018 elections, hitting 50.09%.
In Qatar, Turkish expats hoping to cast their votes are required to do so using their ID only.
“We believe that this rate will increase even more in the Presidential Elections and the 28th Term Parliamentary Elections.Within the framework of the decision taken by the YSK [Supreme Election Council], ballot boxes will be set up in 151 Turkish Representations in 73 countries,” Goksu added.
Erdogan, who is representing the People’s Alliance, is currently running against Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the head of the Republican People’s Party, among other candidates.
“We have taken all necessary measures to ensure that our citizens cast their votes in confidence and peace, under the most favorable conditions possible,” Goksu said.
The elections come at a critical time for Turkey which is currently juggling an economic crisis while recovering from the deadly 6 February earthquakes.
Elections in Turkey take place every five years and are broken into different stages.
During the first stage, candidates are nominated after passing 5% votes in the previous parliamentary elections or receiving a minimum of 100,000 signatures in favour of their nomination.
Candidates who gain more than 50% of votes in the first round are elected as president. Another round takes place between the two candidates with the most votes in the event that no one receives a majority vote during the first round.
The elections will take place in Turkey on 14 May and results are expected to be announced on the evening of the same day.