Almost 1.5 million Turkish citizens living abroad have cast their ballots between June 7 and 19, Sadi Guven, head of the Supreme Election Council (YSK), told reporters on Wednesday.

Envelopes containing ballot papers are being counted in Brussels, Belgium on June 19, 2018 as voting ends for Turkish presidential and general elections.
Envelopes containing ballot papers are being counted in Brussels, Belgium on June 19, 2018 as voting ends for Turkish presidential and general elections. (AA)

Almost half of Turkish voters living abroad cast votes in Turkey’s June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections – a higher turnout than in previous polls, the nation's top election official said on Wednesday.

More than 1.48 million Turkish expats went to the polls between June 7 and 19, a turnout of 48.78 percent, Sadi Guven, head of the Supreme Election Council (YSK), told reporters in the capital Ankara, adding that the voting at foreign missions in 60 countries had occurred without incident.

In last year’s constitutional referendum, some 1.4 million Turkish citizens abroad cast votes, a turnout of 47.91 percent, he added.

But turnout is expected to rise further, as voting at customs gates will continue through Election Day, this Sunday, June 24, he said.

A sack containing ballot papers is being sealed in Brussels, Belgium on June 19, 2018.
A sack containing ballot papers is being sealed in Brussels, Belgium on June 19, 2018. (AA)

All the votes cast across Europe will be sent to Turkey by airmail and counted at the same time as the votes cast in Turkey on June 24, said Sadi.  

Guven also warned against any attempts at electoral fraud, including double voting, saying, “We have never allowed nobody to abuse [the polls], and we never will.”

People who try to commit voter fraud can face up to five years in prison, he noted.

In Turkey, voters will go to the polls on June 24 – less than a week away.

Over three million Turks living abroad are eligible to vote for the presidential and general elections.

Six candidates are running for president, while 10 political parties are taking part in the parliamentary elections.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies