Turkey’s Supreme Board of Election (YSK) has announced that 64.1 million people will vote in the presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for May 14, considered to be one of the most critical in the country’s history.
YSK President Ahmet Yener announced at a news conference on Monday that 64,113,941 people will vote in the elections. The figure includes Turkish expatriates as well as people living in Turkey.
Turkish expatriates will be able to cast their votes starting April 27 at 177 foreign missions in 74 countries until May 9. There will be 26 polling stations in Germany, where more than 3 million Turks live, while nine polling stations will be set up in Turkey’s foreign missions in the United States.
There are 60,697,843 eligible voters in Turkey, more than 30 million of whom are women.
First-time voters, who are expected to play a significant role in the results of the elections, number 4,904,672.
Incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was first elected president in 2014, is seeking re-election, while an opposition bloc of six parties has nominated main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu as their joint candidate.
Many say if Erdoğan, under whose decades-long rule Turkey has become more authoritarian, is re-elected, the country will turn into a dictatorship.
Opinion surveys show Erdoğan losing some support amid the poor situation of the Turkish economy, with inflation hitting 85 percent last year, and his government’s poor handling of two powerful earthquakes in southern Turkey in February, which claimed the lives of more than 50,000 people.
Polls show him running neck-and-neck or losing to Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kılıçdaroğlu.