Read FP’s Coverage of Sunday’s Elections in Turkey

Read FP’s Coverage of Sunday’s Elections in Turkey

Kerry Wise
June 24, 2018

President Tayyip Erdogan and his main challenger, Muharrem Ince, have made a final push for support at rival rallies in Istanbul, a day before presidential and parliamentary elections that are widely viewed as the most crucial in Turkey for decades.

Voting already closed last week for Turkish citizens resident overseas, with just under 1.5 million out of just over 3 million registered voters casting their ballot, a turnout of just under 49 percent.

Polls for Turkey's landmark elections will open at 8am local time (05:00 GMT) on Sunday and close at 5pm (14:00 GMT).

The victor of Sunday's presidential contest will acquire sweeping new executive powers under a constitutional overhaul backed by Erdogan and endorsed a year ago by a narrow majority of Turks in a referendum.

Supporters of the reforms argue that they will modernize the country, but opponents fear a possible authoritarian rule.

Turkey was awash in campaign promises on Saturday as politicians pressed to get voters' attention in the last remaining hours before a ban begins ahead of Sunday's critical presidential and parliamentary elections.

He also hailed the executive presidency that comes into force after the elections. Critics say it would allow Erdogan to effectively rule by fiat, while curbing independent checks on his power. "We will achieve rapid development in another way, and we need to change the system to do so".

"If Erdogan wins, your phones will continue to be listened to".

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On the day of Trump's election, for example, Strzok said he was "depressed", and Page said "OMG THIS IS F***ING TERRIFYING". Mr Trump is certain to try to use the report to validate his firing of Mr Comey previous year .

One opposition candidate, Selahattin Demirtas of the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party, is running his presidential campaign from a jail cell, where he has been detained on terrorism charges since November 2016.

"If the HDP fails to get into parliament, all Turkey will lose".

The men agreed that their children were too young to "truly remember" the bad days before Mr Erdogan, which is why the younger generation are supporters of the Kurdish HDP.

Tens of thousands of Turkish citizens are responding to calls from the opposition to monitor the polls for a clean election and a delegation of observers from the OSCE will also be in place.

In the past few years, Turkey has seen a host of terrorist attacks, majority blamed on either the Daesh terrorist group or the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Erdogan blamed the coup on his former ally, US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, and has waged a sweeping crackdown on the preacher's followers in Turkey.

Since then, Turkey has been under a state of emergency that has enabled the government to go after the media and opposition groups, believed to have played a role in the abortive putsch. The United Nations say some 160,000 people have been detained and almost as many more, including teachers, judges and soldiers, sacked.