Ankara Gives 11 Days Leave to Outmigrants for Bulgaria's Elections
Turkey’s government has issued an order stating people with dual citizenship may use 11 days of administrative leave in order to take part in the campaign for the parliamentary vote in Bulgaria and vote at their birthplaces.
The order is secret and has been circulated to all state institutions. The length of leave is from March 20 to March 31.
The cabinet in Ankara has issued similar orders during previous elections in Bulgaria in order to facilitate outmigrants and their absence from work, but this is the first time that it is actively taking place in agitation. The fact that Bulgarians are protesting at the border against “voting buses and organised tourist trips” is being stressed. Due to the interference of Turkey in Bulgaria’s internal affairs, the two countries are in a period of crisis.
Over the last few years, people with dual citizenship of Bulgarian origin had the opportunity to vote in 136 voting sections in Turkey but, two years ago, their number was reduced to 35.
The cabinet in Ankara committed itself officially to transporting Bulgarian outmigrants across the border and underlined that the reason for this is the insufficient number of voting sections on Turkish territory.
This happened after a written statement was submitted by the associations of outmigrants to the cabinet on February 22, 2017 which points out the problem with the small number of voting sections in regions with compact populations of people with dual citizenship.
Outmigrant organisations are financed by the Turkish state. Turkey has also ordered immediate actions in order to secure access to the elections of these voters.
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