Polls open in Istanbul and Ankara

By REUTERS
November 1, 2015 10:03
1 minute read.

 
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Turks began voting on Sunday amid worsening security and economic worries, in a snap parliamentary election that could profoundly impact the divided country's trajectory and that of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

This is the second parliamentary poll in five months, after the ruling AK Party founded by Erdogan failed to retain its single-party majority in June. Since then, a cease-fire with Kurdish insurgents has collapsed into bloodshed, the Syria crisis has worsened, and NATO-member Turkey has been hit by two Islamic State-linked suicide bomb attacks, killing more than 130.

There has been little sign of the flags, posters and campaign buses that thronged the streets in the build-up to June's vote, but Erdogan has framed this somber re-run as a pivotal opportunity for Turkey to return to single-party AKP rule after months of political uncertainty.

Many polls suggest that while support for the center-right, Islamist-rooted party may have inched up, the outcome is unlikely to be dramatically different to June, when it took 40.9 percent of the vote.

However, one survey released on Thursday suggested there had been a late surge in support for the AKP and that it could take as much as 47.2 percent, comfortably enough to secure more than half of the 550-seat parliament.

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