Turkey is preparing for another general election that will take place this weekend. Political party leaders are working tirelessly on their publicity tours as the country enters the final hours of the propaganda campaign for the June 7, 2015 election.
Turkish citizens continue to maintain a high interest in politics. As seen in the previous elections, the voting turnout is expected to be high this weekend as well. Even the youth is keen to use their legal right to participate and have their say on the choice of the nation’s next leaders.
Looking at the statistics from previous parliamentary elections in Turkey, national participation in the 2002 general elections was 79.14 percent. Contrary to expectations, voter turnout rose even higher in 2007. Voter participation in the 2007 general elections was 84,25 percent, a surprising figure according to many since the election was held in July and people were expected to be on holiday, away from home.
The last general election was in 2011 and the voter turnout was 83.16 percent.
The above numbers are from Turkey’s Supreme Electoral Board, the independent body responsible for the elections.
Average voter turnout around the world is significantly lower than Turkey’s. Turnouts for the US presidential elections has fluctuated between 50 to 60 percent over the last decades. with primary election turnouts being even lower. The UK is doing better. In the most recent UK elections which took place in May 2015 66.1 percent of the eligible population turned up to vote. The participation of German voters has dropped from 80 percent to 70 percent in the last decade.
Previous election data of Turkey depicts a steady level of national interest in the elections. Expectations of voter turnout this weekend are about the same as in the last few elections. Turkish society bucks the global election participation trend by a large margin.
Turkey’s election system aims to bring transparency to all of the procedures. The decision taker and overseer of the elections is the Supreme Electoral Board of Turkey. The institution assigns an independent committee of polling clerks for every ballot box. Political parties can participate in these committees or send representatives to observe the process in the local branches of the Supreme Electoral Board. The Board uses a unique and highly secure software called SECSIS to process data and announce results as soon as possible. Resolution of possible objections is also top priority.
The Turkish community is anxiously waiting to visit the voting booths this weekend. At the same time, all institutions of the government are preparing to make sure the election process advances as it should.