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Why did Turkish expats ignore Erdogan's call to vote?

Even with intense campaigning in Europe, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan failed to rally Turkish expats to vote in the presidential elections.
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan looks at his watch at the end of his meeting with supporters during his visit in Cologne May 24, 2014.                 REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay   (GERMANY - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR3QOIL

The presidential elections in Turkey will make history on Aug. 10 with quite a few “first-time” occurrences. For the first time, Turkish citizens living abroad are allowed to cast their votes in the country where they reside. Previously, they could vote only at the Turkish customs gates when leaving the country. A new regulation, announced on May 18, 2012, allows all Turkish citizens in possession of a Turkish identity card to vote at Turkish embassies or consulates abroad — in 54 countries at 103 locations. Voters would have to register for an appointment or would be assigned an appointment by an automatic system to cast their ballots. The dates for expats for the first voting round began on July 31 and ended on Aug. 3.

According to Turkish law, citizens are automatically registered to vote once they have reached the age of 18. About 53 million Turkish citizens are expected to vote on Aug. 10, while the potential expat votes are about 2.8 million. Considering there are three candidates, and expat voters add up to almost 5% of the total voter base, expat votes could significantly affect the outcome. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) pushed this new voting regulation precisely for this reason.

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