site.btaHigh Voter Turnout in Turkish Presidential, Parliamentary Elections
Citizens are flocking en masse to polling booths in Istanbul to exercise their right to vote in Sunday's presidential and parliamentary elections, seen as a crucial crossroads for Turkiye's future direction.
There are a total of 30,802 voting sections across the metropolis. A total of 11.5 million voters are registered in the city on the Bosphorus. Of these, around 850,000 will be voting for the first time in these elections.
According to Turkish media, there is a high turnout everywhere in the country.
The last elections in 2018, which were won by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), recorded a voting turnout of 86 percent.
"This time I expect the turnout to exceed 90 percent, maybe 95 percent. The Turkish voter has an attitude of voting to begin with, unlike Europeans, and this is particularly pronounced in critical elections such as these," analyst Harun Meslek said.
According to Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, who voted in Istanbul, the voting everywhere was peaceful. He said 600,000 police have been mobilized to provide security during the elections.
Voting itself takes about 5 minutes per person. Voting is by two ballot papers - one for the presidential vote, on which are printed the photos of the four presidential candidates - the Republican Alliance's Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Homeland Party leader Muharrem Ince, the opposition Nation Alliance candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu and the ATA alliance's presidential candidate, Sinan Ogan. Ince announced Thursday that he was withdrawing from the election, but election authorities said votes cast for him would still be considered valid.
The second ballot, which is almost a metre long, has the names of 24 political parties running in the parliamentary elections.
Election day ends at 17:00 Sunday, after which the counting of ballot papers will begin - first for the presidential and then for the parliamentary election.
Voting at border crossing points will also close at 5:00 pm. Between 6 pm and 9 pm, only the Supreme Election Council can announce the results of the vote, and after 9 pm this restriction will fall. The sale of alcohol is banned from 6 am until midnight on Sunday, establishments selling liquor are closed and wedding parties are allowed only after 6 pm.