The record turnout of voters abroad could tip the balance in the second round of the Turkish elections that pits Erdogan against Kiliçdaroglu, although the Turkish president starts as the great favorite.
Voting abroad for the second round of the presidential elections has concluded with a record turnout and thousands of sacks loaded with votes are flowing from different parts of the world to Turkey.
Almost 1.86 million Turks have voted and their decision may be key to tilting the balance in favor of the outgoing president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, or his Social Democratic rival, Kemal Kiriçdaroglu. Erdogan was close to an absolute majority in the first vote, despite the economic crisis and the wear and tear of 20 years in power.
“God wants things to change with these elections: people will no longer feel the need to go abroad, they will be able to live freely, the economy will improve. Inshallah people will stay in Turkey because the brain drain is seriously affecting our country,” says a young student.
But if the young people want a change, the inhabitants of the areas most affected by the earthquake last February also demand it. Many felt abandoned to their fate.
“For me, it’s not a question of party. I would vote for anyone to get rid of him (editor’s note: Erdogan). It could be Kilicdaroglu or someone else, I don’t care. This man (ed: Erdogan) buried us alive, he didn’t help us, until today I haven’t received any help!”, cries Sema Sicek, a resident of Antioquia, a city devastated by the February earthquake.
Elections are held in Turkey on Sunday and the electoral math favors Erdogan. The president has the support of ultranationalist candidate Sinan Ogan, who obtained 5% of the vote in the first round.