As voting continues abroad for the elections to be held in Turkey on June 24, all Turkish citizens registered at the Turkish consulates in Germany have been sent letters signed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in which he asks for their votes in return for services provided to citizens living abroad.
According to a report by the pro-Kurdish Fırat news agency (ANF), the letters were sent to everybody who ever conducted any business with Turkish consulates in Germany, such as register addresses or to renewing passports or identification cards.
The report said the letters were sent from the headquarters of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Ankara and were addressed personally to each and every voter. The messages Erdoğan gives to Turkish citizens living abroad can be summarized as “We made such and such so easy for you, so you should vote for us.”
It is said in the letters that “We have improved public services for our citizens abroad. We turned our consulates general into communication points that truly serve you. We installed thousands of teachers and religious workers so our children can learn their own language, culture and religion. We issued grants for our young people’s education and made Turkish universities available to them free of charge.
“Voting will be held between June 7 to 19 in ballot boxes set up overseas. In these elections with historic importance for the future of our country, we will take the first steps of a new beginning with your help. We promise our brothers in the country and abroad that there will be a ‘Strong Parliament, Strong Government, Strong Turkey’ on top of all our services in the last 16 years.”
The German government along those of some other European countries had announced that it would not allow Turkish politicians to campaign within their borders for parliamentary and presidential elections to be held in Turkey on June 24. Austria, Germany and the Netherlands had also refused to allow campaigning by Turkish government officials for a referendum held in Turkey on April 16, 2017.