Turkish citizens in US begin voting for Presidential, Parliamentary polls

Turkish citizens in US begin voting for Presidential, Parliamentary polls

Washington, The Gulf Observer: Turkish citizens living in the US have begun casting their ballots for Türkiye’s upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections.

Some 134,246 Turks, who are eligible to vote, are expected go to the polls across the US until May 7.

As many as seven polling stations have been set up at diplomatic missions — the Turkish Embassy in Washington, and consulates in New York, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Miami and Los Angeles.

Dilek Yarman, 52, who has been living in the US for four years, said she was “excited” to vote, and sees it as a contribution to the country.

“It is a responsibility that needs to be fulfilled,” she said.

One the first people who voted at the Turkish Embassy in Washington, Turkish expat Oktay Nalcaoglu told Anadolu Agency that he was happy to do his “civic duty.”

“This is something we do every five years,” he said. “We did our part for democracy. We set an example for our children.”

Ayse Nalcaoglu, another Turkish expat, said this year’s elections are “very important for our country.”

“We are here to be the children of a democratic order. We have done our duty, we are very excited and hopeful,” she said.

Voting in Türkiye will take place on May 14.

Voters will choose between four presidential hopefuls: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is seeking reelection, Muharrem Ince, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, and Sinan Ogan.

Meanwhile, 24 political parties and 151 independent candidates are vying for 600 seats in the Turkish parliament.

At customs gates, voting will end on May 14, while at most foreign polling stations it will end on May 9, according to the Foreign Ministry.

Some 3.41 million people are expected to cast their votes abroad, including nearly 278,000 first-time voters.