As of today, Turkish voters abroad can cast their votes in the second round of the Turkish presidential election. Next weekend, the decision falls in a second round, after neither current president Recep Tayyip Erdogan nor opposition candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu had been able to get a majority in the first round.
Voting is now open in Brussels, Antwerp and Hasselt. With thousands they came here this morning in the exhibition halls, on the first day. There are five days in which you can vote. But they find it very important here to vote for their roots.
The votes of Belgian Turks went massively to Erdogan in the first round, and perhaps that will be the case again. In the first round, Erdogan received more than 72 percent of the vote in Belgium. That is his highest score in a European country, and much higher than his overall score in Turkey, where he achieved over 49 percent.
Voters in Turkey themselves criticize the Foreign votes: they believe that it is not up to Ghent or Antwerp Turks, for example, to help determine policy in Turkey.
Turks abroad have been allowed to vote in Turkish presidential and parliamentary elections since 2014. This year, there are about 135,000 Turks eligible to vote in Belgium, of whom 85,000 cast a vote in the first round.