Turkish citizens residing in the Gulf state can vote from 20th May in the second round of the elections.
Turkish residents in Qatar are being urged to head to the embassy to cast their votes in the second round of Türkiye’s Presidential race.
In the hotly contested 2023 elections, Turkish residents in Qatar are being urged to cast their votes again in the second round of the presidential race.
In a statement to Doha News by Mustafa Göksu, Qatar’s Ambassador of the Republic of Türkiye, said that the Turkish community are being encouraged to exercise their “constitutional right and national duty” at the Turkish embassy in Doha.
The 2023 elections carry a special weight as they coincide with the centenary of the Turkish Republic, earning them the title of the “elections of the century”.
The first round of voting occurred amidst the “flames of the hot political atmosphere” and was marked by “safety and complete freedom,” said Ambassador Göksu.
He attributed the safety and independence to the “independent state institutions, which stand neutral from this political practice, and secure and protect citizens so that they can exercise their constitutional right to vote.”
After no candidate received 50% of votes, which is the necessary threshold in Türkiye to allow a candidate to qualify for presidency, the Turkish Supreme Election Council announced a second round to the elections to be held on 28 May between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and opposition leader, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.
Göksu explained the need for a second round, asserting that it was a testament to the democratic values of the nation.
“The organisers of these vicious media campaigns have missed that dictators do not need fair elections and remarkable public attendance to vote, and they certainly do not engage in run-offs to give the word back to the people, who have the final word in assigning those who give them the utmost freedom to lead the country,” he said.
High turn-out for the first round
The turnout of Turkish voters in Türkiye in the first round of elections was the highest the country has experienced in decades, according to Ahmet Yener, President of the Supreme Election Council.
The turnout inside the country reached 88.92%, which “far exceeds the voter turnout in countries that have been well-established in their political and electoral practice for decades.”
For the second round of elections, Turkish citizens residing abroad can cast their votes again from 20th May. In Qatar, they can do so by visiting the Embassy Republic of Türkiye in Doha, between 20-22 May.
Voting will also take place at Turkish border crossings and airports between 20-28 May.
In his statement, Ambassador Göksu stressed that these elections are pivotal for the nation’s future and a celebration of the republic’s centenary.
“I call on our citizens abroad in general, and our Turkish citizens residing in Qatar in particular, to exercise their constitutional right and national duty by casting their votes at the Embassy Republic of Türkiye in Doha, to choose the President of the Republic who will lead the country in the next five years,” he said.
Turkish elections: how do they work?
The elections come at a critical time for Türkiye which is currently juggling an economic crisis while recovering from the deadly 6 February earthquakes.
Elections take place every five years in the country 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 of votes take place between the two candidates with the most votes in the event that no one receives a majority vote during the first round.