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July 26, 2014 AT 6:13 AM
Turkish nationals living abroad began casting their ballots on Saturday at border customs offices, launching the voting cycle in the country's first direct presidential election. Election officials set up 42 polling stations at land crossings, airports and sea harbors that will remain open for arriving Turks until Aug. 10, the date that voters living in Turkey will go to the polls for a first round of the election. Most of those traveling to the border to vote are Turkish citizens living in nearby countries or passing through the country on their way to another destination. Until this year, Turks living abroad had to return home to cast their ballots.