The German government has still not approved Ankara’s request to open polling centres in the country for Turkish nationals who want to cast votes in Turkey’s 14 May elections.
Turkish nationals living in other countries will start voting as of 27 April in voting centres formed in those countries.
In Germany, the Turkish officials applied to German authorities to get their approval for voting centres they plan to open in the country. However, the German authorities are still evaluating the approval, Deutsche Welle Turkish (DW) reported.
“It is important for us to give the opportunity for citizens who are not German nationals to vote for elections in their home countries,” an unnamed spokesperson of the German foreign ministry told Deutsche Welle.
Yet, the requests to open polling centres by other countries require the approval of the ministry, who is in touch with the German internal ministry and the officials of federal governments, the spokesperson told DW.
There are an estimated 1.5 million voters in Germany who are eligible to vote in Turkey’s 14 May elections. The outcome of the votes cast in the country can have a profound effect on election results.
In 2018 elections, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan received 64.8 percent of the votes cast for Turkey’s presidential race in Germany, while his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) garnered 55.7 percent of the votes of the Turkish nationals living in the country.
A total number of almost 3.5 million Turkish nationals residing in foreign countries will have the opportunity to have their say in 14 May elections.
Since the preferences of voters outside the country are not included in surveys conducted by pollsters, their votes can spoil expectations of political parties for 14 May polls.
Erdoğan received 59.4 percent of votes cast in foreign countries and border gates in 2018 elections, while the support he garnered inside the country remained at 52.4 percent.
Turkey’s 2018 elections caused tensions between Ankara and Berlin, when Germany banned rallies of Turkish politicians on its soil. Erdoğan at the time described the decision as “Nazi tactics”.
Earlier this month, Germany’s Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschmann warned against the potential attempts to spread hate speech during Turkey’s election campaign in Germany.