Citizens of Turkey who live in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and several other countries where presidential challenger Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu won a majority of the votes in the first round of elections on Sunday will have their voting window severely restricted for the second round.
The Turkish Embassy in Washington D.C. announced that voting would be available only on 20 and 21 May. For the first round of elections, the embassy allowed voting between 29 April and 7 May, and had previously planned to allocate five days for the second round.
There are only nine voting centres in the United States, and another four in Canada, to serve more than 170,000 voters. Kılıçdaroğlu won 80.39 percent of the vote in the former, and 79.65 in the latter. Voter turnout in the first round was around 40 percent, mainly due to the size of the two countries, despite the longer voting period.
In Europe, voting will be limited to the 20-21 May weekend in several countries where Kılıçdaroğlu won the overwhelming majority, including in the United Kingdom (79.04 percent) and Spain (82.06 percent), while countries favouring incumbent president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, including the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and France, will have the full five days to vote in 42 centres.
In Lyon, France, voting will take place in the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DİTİB), a religious institution that operates under Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet), and has declared open support for Erdoğan numerous times.