ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΜΕΤΑΦΡΑΣΗ ΑΚΟΛΟΥΘΕΙ
By Nick Stamatakis
It is hard to describe how embarrassed I felt yesterday evening as I was driving in the streets of Manhattan going to an event when I saw a procession of trucks with Turkish flags and one oversize photo of President Erdogan, apparently driving to or from a pre-election event. Most of the Turkish Diaspora live in Europe and especially Germany, at least 5-6 million of them… And some more millions around the world. And they all have the right to vote at the Turkish consulates and establishments that the Consular authorities set… Please read the article below: at least 1.5 million Turks of the diaspora are expected to vote next Sunday in the crucial presidential elections, more millions are registered, and almost all are allowed to register if they wish.
What an embarrassment for the “Cradle of Democracy”, to not allow but a tiny sliver of its large Diaspora to vote: Only about 23,000 Greeks out of the millions of Greek Diaspora will vote in this coming elections of May 21st!! The Greek Constitution of 1974 (article 50) establishes the Diaspora’s right to vote and be elected. Still, a series of calculating or outright corrupt Greek Governments, particularly those of the Left, have prohibited the establishment of Laws and government mechanisms from enforcing this constitutional provision. The many right-wing governments since 1974 are hiding behind an UNREASONABLE rule (of 2/3 parliament majority) for introducing such laws. And they are also hiding behind the absolute denial of the Left, which considers itself politically damaged by the Diaspora votes.
The reality is that right and left-wing Greek politicians know well that the Diaspora does NOT need their completely corrupt “services” of “access” to government, and – given the great numbers of the Diaspora – they are afraid they will lose their power. The Western governments, acting as “Patrons” (read: “pimps”) of Greece, also do not favor extensive voting right for the Diaspora because Diaspora will always vote in favor of the true interests of Greece and the Greek Nation.
And so many of us, Greek-born or foreign-born, who hold two passports (and have double citizenship) do not have the right to vote in the Greek Elections. Not even those of us (hundreds of thousands!!) who file taxes in Greece because we owe some property there, in most cases a little house left to us by our parents!! It gives the principle “Νο taxation without representation” a new meaning!!
Shame to all Greek politicians!! We should NEVER AGAIN INVITE THEM TO OUR EVENTS AND PARADES!! How embarrassing for us to see immigrants of Albania, Former Yugoslavia, Romania, Bulgaria (all former communist states) and Turkey go vote in their consulates!! How embarrassing!! And it is exponentially more embarrassing because it regards a nation whose identity is defined by its Diaspora through the Ages, from the mythical times of Odysseus…
Η τουρκική διασπορά ψηφίζει ελεύθερα στις εκλογές, ενώ η «δημοκρατική» Ελλάδα μας φιμώνει!
Του Νίκου Σταματάκη
Είναι δύσκολο να περιγράψω πόσο ντροπή ένιωσα χθες το βράδι καθώς οδηγούσα στους δρόμους του Μανχάταν πηγαίνοντας σε μια εκδήλωση όταν είδα μια πομπή φορτηγών με τουρκικές σημαίες και μια υπερμεγέθη φωτογραφία του Προέδρου Ερντογάν, προφανώς πορευόμενα προς ή ερχόμενα από προεκλογική εκδήλωση. Το μεγαλύτερο μέρος της τουρκικής διασποράς ζει στην Ευρώπη και ειδικά στη Γερμανία, τουλάχιστον 5-6 εκατομμύρια… Και μερικά ακόμη εκατομμύρια σε όλο τον κόσμο. Και όλοι έχουν δικαίωμα ψήφου στα τουρκικά προξενεία και άλλες εγκαταστάσεις που έχουν ορίσει οι προξενικές αρχές… Διαβάστε το παρακάτω άρθρο του Trtworld: τουλάχιστον 1,5 εκατομμύριο Τούρκοι της Διασποράς αναμένεται να ψηφίσουν την ερχόμενη Κυριακή στις κρίσιμες προεδρικές εκλογές, ακόμα περισσότερα εκατομμύρια είναι εγγεγραμμένοι, και σχεδόν όλοι επιτρέπεται να εγγραφούν εάν το επιθυμούν.
Τι ντροπή για το «λίκνο της Δημοκρατίας» να μην επιτρέπει να ψηφίσει παρά ένα μικρό κομμάτι της μεγάλης διασποράς του: Μόνο περίπου 23.000 Έλληνες από τα εκατομμύρια της διασποράς θα ψηφίσουν στις ερχόμενες εκλογές της 21ης Μαΐου!! Το ελληνικό Σύνταγμα του 1974 (άρθρο 50) θεσπίζει το δικαίωμα της Διασποράς να εκλέγει και να εκλέγεται. Ωστόσο, μια σειρά από κουτοπόνηρες ή εντελώς διεφθαρμένες ελληνικές κυβερνήσεις, ιδιαίτερα αυτές της Αριστεράς, έχουν απαγορεύσει τη θέσπιση nόμων και κυβερνητικών μηχανισμών για την εφαρμογή αυτής της συνταγματικής διάταξης. Οι πολλές δεξιές κυβερνήσεις από το 1974 κρύβονται πίσω από έναν ΠΑΡΑΛΟΓΟ κανόνα (τα 2/3 της κοινοβουλευτικής πλειοψηφίας) για την εισαγωγή τέτοιων νόμων. Και κρύβονται επίσης από την απόλυτη άρνηση της Αριστεράς, που θεωρεί ότι ζημιώνεται πολιτικά από την ψήφο της Διασποράς.
Η πραγματικότητα είναι ότι οι δεξιοί και αριστεροί Έλληνες πολιτικοί γνωρίζουν καλά ότι η Διασπορά ΔΕΝ χρειάζεται τις εντελώς διεφθαρμένες «υπηρεσίες» τους για «πρόσβαση» στην κυβέρνηση και – δεδομένου του μεγάλου αριθμού της διασποράς – φοβούνται ότι θα χάσουν τη δύναμή τους. Οι δυτικές κυβερνήσεις, που λειτουργούν και ως «Πάτρονες» (διαβάστε: «νταβατζήδες») της Ελλάδας, επίσης δεν ευνοούν το εκτεταμένο δικαίωμα ψήφου για τη Διασπορά. Γιατί η Διασπορά θα ψηφίζει πάντα υπέρ των πραγματικών συμφερόντων της Ελλάδας και του ελληνικού έθνους.
Και έτσι οι πολλοί από εμάς, γεννημένοι στην Ελλάδα ή στο εξωτερικό, που έχουμε δύο διαβατήρια (και διπλή υπηκοότητα), δεν έχουμε δικαίωμα ψήφου στις ελληνικές εκλογές. Ούτε όσοι από εμάς (εκατοντάδες χιλιάδες!!) που κάνουμε φορολογική δήλωση στην Ελλάδα επειδή έχουμε κάποια περιουσία εκεί, στις περισσότερες περιπτώσεις ένα σπιτάκι που μας άφησαν οι γονείς μας!! Το γεγονός αυτό δίνει στην αρχή «Οχι φορολογία χωρίς εκπροσώπηση» νέο νόημα!!
Ντροπή σε όλους τους Έλληνες πολιτικούς!! ΔΕΝ ΠΡΕΠΕΙ ΝΑ ΤΟΥΣ ΚΑΛΟΥΜΕ ΠΟΤΕ ΞΑΝΑ ΣΤΙΣ ΕΚΔΗΛΩΣΕΙΣ ΚΑΙ ΤΙΣ ΠΑΡΕΛΑΣΕΙΣ ΜΑΣ!! Πόσο ντροπιαστικό για εμάς να βλέπουμε μετανάστες της Αλβανίας, της πρώην Γιουγκοσλαβίας, της Ρουμανίας, της Βουλγαρίας (όλα πρώην κομμουνιστικά κράτη) και της Τουρκίας να πηγαίνουν να ψηφίζουν στα προξενεία τους!! Πόσο ντροπιαστικό!! Και είναι απεριόριστα πιο ενοχλητικό γιατί αφορά ένα έθνος του οποίου η ταυτότητα καθορίζεται από τη Διασπορά ανά τους αιώνες, από τους μυθικούς χρόνους του Οδυσσέα…
source – trtworld.com
Türkiye elections: Here’s what you need to know about diaspora voting
Between April 27 and May 9, more than 3.4 million Turkish expats in 73 countries are eligible to cast their votes in the 2023 presidential and parliamentary elections.
Ferhat Kopuz, a Turkish expat travelling from Istanbul to Sydney, cast the first vote as Türkiye’s presidential and parliamentary elections got underway on Thursday (April 27).
Kopuz exercised his democratic right at the Istanbul International Airport’s customs section, where a booth has been set up for expats entering or exiting the country.
For the Turkish diaspora, voting will run from April 27 to May 9, according to Türkiye’s Supreme Election Council (YSK). Resident citizens will vote in Türkiye on May 14.
Around 3.4 million Turks living abroad are eligible to cast their votes in the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections. Roughly 1.5 million of them exercised their right to vote in the previous election.
Türkiye’s diplomatic missions have set up voting booths at 156 locations in 73 countries, officials said.
“From how things appear, people are more excited to vote than they were in the previous elections. There were long queues when voters were registering themselves in the electoral rolls,” says Bulent Guven, a Turkish-German political scientist who lives in Hamburg.
A majority of the Turkish diaspora lives in Western Europe, where migrant workers settled in the 1960s as part of the post-World War II reconstruction programme. They make up the single-largest Muslim immigrant group in Western Europe.
With over 1.5 million registered diaspora voters, Germany tops the list of countries where Turkish politics will play out at a fever pitch, followed by France, the Netherlands and Belgium.
Regarding factors that shape voter preference, the diaspora has different priorities than their fellow citizens in their home country.
“People here give weightage to Türkiye’s international image, they are proud of the indigenously developed electric car TOGG, proud of the drones and TCG Anadolu, the recently inaugurated warship,” Guven tells TRT World.
Compared to the 61 million registered voters within Turkiye, the diaspora vote might appear to be minuscule, but their stamp of approval can have a decisive impact, as was seen in 2018.
“I think the number of diaspora voters is not going to go down below what we saw in the last elections,” says Mehmet Kose, the former head of YTB, the Presidency of Turks Abroad and Related Communities.
How do Turks vote abroad?
While the diaspora voting begins on April 27, the YSK has set different start dates and periods for various countries depending on their population.
In Amsterdam, Netherlands, voting will kick off on April 29 and run for nine days up to May 7, says Mahmut Burak Ersoy, the Turkish Consul General in Amsterdam.
“The election calendar is different in some countries because of the number of Turks living there. Also, you have to take into account that the Netherlands is not a big country like Germany and travelling short distances is easier,” he tells TRT World.
There are more than 280,000 Turkish registered voters in the Netherlands. Around 150,000 Turks live in and around Amsterdam, but only 40,000 are registered voters, according to the consul general.
People can vote between 9 am and 9 pm at the voting venue – the RAI Amsterdam Convention Center, the largest in the city.
Voters have to bring their Turkish ID cards or some other document, such as a marriage certificate, to prove their identity. At the voting venue, they first go before a five-member board, which checks if the person is registered in the electoral roll of expat Turks.
The board comprises two Turkish government officials and three representatives from the political parties which had received the highest number of votes in the last election.
A rising trend
Over the years, Türkiye has introduced multiple legal amendments to make it easier for expats to vote in the elections.
For instance, Turkish citizens are automatically added to the electoral lists maintained by the Supreme Election Council, and all they have to do is make sure their details show up in electoral lists before the voting starts, explains Kose.
Voters can easily check their information electronically.
But things were not always so easy.
On paper, Turkish expats were given the right to vote in Türkiye’s domestic elections in the 1950s. But procedural difficulties such as the requirement to travel to Türkiye in person for inclusion of name in the electoral roll discouraged expat voters, says Kose.
In the subsequent decades, rules were relaxed, and from 1987 onwards, non-resident Turkish nationals could vote at border crossings while entering or exiting Türkiye during election time. Yet, that was not enough to increase participation.
“Between 1987 and 2011, the maximum number of people who voted at the customs points (border crossings such as airports) was 270,000. It was very small. Sometimes it went as low as 40,000 or 50,000,” says Kose.
The participation rate of expats in the elections surged from 2014 when voting booths were set up in the cities and towns where the Turkish diaspora lives and the process became accessible.
In 2014, only half-a-million votes were cast by the 2.8 million registered voters in the presidential election. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won with 62.5 percent of the expat votes.
The turnout increased in the parliamentary election held the following year as more polling stations were added, and the duration for casting votes increased. More than one million votes were cast.
Erdogan’s AK Party again emerged at the top.
In the 2017 constitutional referendum aimed at streamlining the working of the presidency, the turnout among expats reached 1.4 million voters.
In the 2018 presidential and parliamentary elections, which the AK Party once again won, expat participation jumped to more than three million.
Since the 1980s, the Turkish diaspora has put its weight behind centre-right parties, beginning with the Motherland Party led by former prime minister Turgut Ozal, says Guven, the political scientist from Hamburg.
“This conservative-leaning has continued with the emergence of the AK Party, which has received most votes from Turkish citizens living abroad.”
The lack of representation that politicians with Turkish roots get in Europe is perhaps a reason that has propelled the diaspora to have more say in the Turkish elections.
For instance, in the 1990s, there were more Dutch Surinamese politicians than Dutch-Turks in the Netherlands, even though Turks had a larger population. Suriname, a tiny South American nation, has a total population of over half a million.
Anti-Turkish sentiment was particularly visible during Brexit when right-wing politicians fanned lies about a horde of Turkish migrants trying to reach Britain.
Another reason that gives a boost to the diaspora votes could be, under Erdogan’s watch, Türkiye has exerted its diplomatic influence internationally as seen with the Ukraine grain deal.
Η Τουρκία είναι ανεξάρτητη χώρα, αντίθετα
η Ελλάδα δεν είναι , όλες οι Κυβερνήσεις
είναι τσιράκια της Νέας Τάξης πραγμάτων.
Bingo! The Greek elites who have governed (for the west) for 200 years will never allow the Diaspora Greeks to vote because they know they would vote for the genuine leaders who are often imprisoned.
I’m sorry, but I have to be very blunt here…
The diaspora is actually 100% at fault for this situation.
My understanding is that it takes between 5 to 10k Euros to obtain a “smart lawyer” to take the Greek Government to court (Σ.τ.Ε), in order to declare these (and many other) “Demetrios (Jim) Crow Laws” unconstitutional…
Haven’t all these fancy Hellenic Diaspora Societies figured out how to generate 5-10k Euros in their “petty cash box” over the last 50 years to invest in such a serious matter? Or is it perhaps that the heads of these “societies” for some reason are historically “hesitant” to proceed with such action against their own “good buddies”?
The Σ.τ.Ε. is waiting, but nobody is showing up to file a complaint…(for decades now)…this observational reality has the scent of something else rotting profusely behind the scenes…
I wish it were as simple as that – it would have already been done. As you recently saw, the highest court of Greece (Αρειος Πάγος) threw out several parties for dubious reasons. Also the Greek Parliament has the upper hand in this matter. Even the E.U. courts would not touch such an issue I believe…
Yes, we all saw that recent fiasco, too…fascism at its best.
It’s an open debate Whether or not the EU will touch a case where clearly there are different standards for allowing the same individual to vote or not vote, depending on whether that individual is within the borders of a member state or not…it would be best to ask that question of the EU at a moment in time when it’s a matter of voting for members of the EU Parliament…I’m sure they would have a different view of their “jurisdiction” over the case under those conditions…
However, as you are far more aware than me, like anything in the Greek system, there is also the concept of the “right moment” as well…remember when the entire Judicial branch was in conflict with the Tsipras government a few years ago (something about pensions, compensation, entitlements), and the courts were “gladly” passing judgments on almost any complaints that would come up against his plans in those days? That was a golden opportunity for the diaspora to make their move on this subject…the courts were quite hostile towards the government on almost anything at that time (on account of their personal vendetta with Tsipras)…why didn’t the Diaspora leaders “read” that window of opportunity? Why were they asleep at the wheel? Again…something is rotten in Denmark, right?