Voters in Turkey began voting this morning (Sunday) in parliamentary and presidential elections, which are expected to witness intense competition between outgoing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Republican People’s Party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who has the support of an alliance of opposition parties. Some 60 million Turks are eligible to vote for their 13th president and members of the 600-seat parliament.
For his part, the Turkish Interior Minister said that about 601,000 security personnel are involved in securing the elections.
It is scheduled to close at 5 pm (1400 GMT) the polls, while it is expected that at midnight indications will become clear about whether a run-off will take place, if no candidate gets more than 50% of the vote, then the presidential race will go to Another round on May 28th.
The head of the Supreme Council for Elections stated that all measures were taken for healthy and safe elections. He described the fourteenth of May as a “festival of democracy”, calling on eligible citizens to go and cast their ballots.
Turkey entered the stage of electoral silence, as of 6:00 pm yesterday (Saturday), on the eve of the presidential and parliamentary elections. Political parties intensified their electoral campaigns before the start of the electoral silence, in a last-ditch effort to win the largest number of votes.
The most recent opinion polls reveal close results repeatedly, but with a lead for the opposition. Even if Erdogan is forced to go through a second round, it will be a precedent for him because he has been used to winning since the first round.
Erdogan, who has succeeded in winning through the ballot box since 2003, promised to respect the outcome of the presidential and legislative elections, in which 64 million voters were invited to participate.
It is noteworthy that about one million and 800 thousand Turks voted abroad, and their votes will be counted with the rest of the votes after the closing of the polls.