The most likely results of today’s election in Turkey is a third consecutive term for Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Recent opinion polls before voting began show strong support for the Prime Minister, who has been in power since 2003. The main question for him is will his majority be big enough to push through a new constitution. He says the new charter will be based on democratic principles and will be closer to EU standards.
Erdogan’s main opponent is Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the secularist Republican People’s Party. Support for him is recorded at between 25 to 30 per cent. Kilicdaroglu has managed to revitalise his party by moving away from scaremongering tactics about Erdogan’s AK Party, instead criticising the government’s human rights record.
As well as the third main contenders, the nationalist MHP party, polls suggest success for at least 28 independent candidates. Gokcen Ogutcu who lives in Istanbul said he is voting for change because he does not believe the government’s claims about stability.
Results for the 550 seat parliament are expected to begin coming in on Sunday night. Turkey has no exit polls and a ban on reporting outcomes until after 9pm local time.