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Turkey goes to the polls in local and mayoral elections

Turkey goes to the polls in local and mayoral elections
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The polls opened in Turkey on Sunday morning for local and mayoral elections which could determine prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s political future.

He is not standing, but has been a regular campaigner for his Justice and Development Party (AKP).

These are the first elections since last June’s mass protests. The Republican People’s Party – the AKP’s main rival – will fight to win the vote for mayor from Erdogan’s ally Kadir Topbas.

Sunday’s vote is seen by many as an unofficial referendum on the prime minister’s administration ahead of the August presidential and 2015 parliamentary elections.

The Turkish government came under fire in December when a corruption scandal saw several of Erdogan’s allies arrested.

In the lead up to the March elections, the government blocked Twitter and YouTube in Turkey. Erdogan claimed social media platforms were spreading misinformation.

Saturday saw pro- and anti-government rallies take place in Istanbul.

Bora Bayraktar, euronews’ correspondent was in Istanbul:
“At this point where I stand in Istanbul the voting is going on smoothly,” he said. “Polls will be open until the evening and the results are expected to be heard around the midnight.”

The public may be divided, but polls suggest the AKP will come out on top.