The Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) on Sunday called on Kurds with Turkish nationality living in Europe and in other countries to vote in Turkey’s 14 May elections.
“In addition to our people in Turkey and Kurdistan, our people living abroad must also take this election seriously and should definately go to polling centres to cast their votes,” the KCK said.
“The will of our people living in Europe should absolutely be reflected in the ballot boxes,” the organisation said, praising the contributions of Kurds in Europe to the Kurdish freedom struggle.
The upcoming elections in Turkey marks a critical turn for this struggle, as the opposition in the country has a high chance of defeating the current government led by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its far-right ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the KCK added.
“Our people have a significant amount of votes abroad. The votes cast abroad will have a profound effect on election results,” the KCK said.
Noting that in Turkey’s previous elections the percentage of Kurds who voted was quite low, the KCK said that not even a single vote should be wasted in the upcoming polls.
“This election is quite different compared to previous elections,” the KCK said and once again called on all Kurds eligible to vote to go to the polling stations on 14 May, defining it a “patriotic duty” to do so.
Turkish nationals living broad will begin to cast their votes on 27 April in polling centres established in foreign countries and at border gates.
Almost 3.5 million Turkish nationals residing in foreign countries will have the opportunity to have their say in the 14 May elections. Since the preferences of voters outside the country are not included in pollster surveys, the votes cast from abroad have the power to affect election results in Turkey.
In 2018, the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) received 17.31 percent of the votes cast outside Turkey, while inside the country HDP votes remained at 11.5 percent. The HDP voters living abroad allowed the party to win a parliamentary seat in Turkey’s northwestern province of Kocaeli.
This year the HDP has fielded candidates under the Green Left Party to mitigate the threat of closure by Turkey’s top court ahead of elections.