Wall Street Journal article claims that there is no mechanism in Turkey to allow people under detention to vote
On 10 February 2017, an article on Turkey’s constitutional reform was published in The Wall Street Journal in which it was claimed that “There is no mechanism to allow people under detention to vote.”
However, a ruling of the Supreme Board of Election (YSK) conspicuously states that people under detention can also vote. “Neither in the Constitution of Turkey nor in the election laws exists a prescription which hinders people under detention from voting. These people can vote in case they want to,” read the YSK’s statement.
In 2016, Turkish daily newspaper Hurriyet reported that two lawyers under detention in the city of Bursa were allowed to vote in the bar elections.
Not only detainees but also prisoners have a right to vote as stipulated in the Turkish constitution. Article 67 of the constitution says: “The necessary measures to be taken to ensure the safety of voting and the counting of the votes in penal execution institutions and prisons shall be determined by the Supreme Board of Election; such voting is held under the on-site direction and supervision of authorized judge.”
Another example in which the right to vote was prioritized by the Turkish state was an announcement by the National Security Ministry of Turkey in 2015, which said that men who have gone AWOL can cast their votes without fearing that they will be detained or brought to the nearest recruitment office. The announcement said that, “It is beyond anything that citizens enjoy their democratic rights freely.”