Turks vote for president, parliament in crucial test for Erdogan

Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seeks new term with greater powers

His main challenger is Muharrem Ince of the secularist Republican People's Party (CHP), while key Kurdish rival, Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) representative Selahattin Demirtas, is campaigning from a prison cell where he has been held on terrorism charges regarding alleged links to Kurdish militants.

After casting his ballot in his jail in the northwestern region of Edirne, Demirtas wrote on Twitter: "I wish that everyone uses their vote for the sake of the future and democracy of the country".

Erdogan remains the favorite to hold on to the presidency - even if he needs a second round on July 8 - but the outcome is likely to be much tighter than he expected when calling the snap polls one-and-a-half years ahead of schedule. Voting began at 8 a.m. (0500 GMT) and will end at 5 p.m. (1400 GMT).

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.

In April 2017, 51 percent of Turkish voters endorsed constitutional changes backed by Erdogan, which grant new executive powers to president and scrap the post of prime minister.

He also hailed the executive presidency that comes into force after the elections.

He painted a bleak picture of Turkey if Erdogan wins the elections, saying its currency would remain weak, prices high and the issue of 3.5 million Syrian refugees unsolved. "Turkey will win!" said Ince, who boasted of holding 107 rallies in the last 50 days. "With this system, we will achieve what others can not imagine", he said.

The Supreme Court Isn’t Done With Gerrymandering Yet
Whitford , the justices held unanimously that the plaintiffs had failed to show that their individual votes had been impaired. Some justices in the past have said the courts have no role in the process; it is between voters and their representatives.

Neymar picks up injury during Brazil's training ahead of Costa Rica match
Citing the Brazil press office, Neymar wasn't scheduled to fully participate in training after being fouled 10 times in the 1-1 draw against Switzerland over the weekend.

Trump signs executive order to reverse his immigration policy
Goodlatte is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and a key player on immigration legislation before the House this week. The two immigration bills under consideration in the House could address the separations, but the outlook for passage is dim.

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

Ince further stressed that he would lift Turkey's state of emergency which has been in place over the past two years.

Ince also repeated his accusation - made by other opposition politicians too - of political bias by Turkey's state media, which has given Erdogan and the AK Party heavy coverage while often neglecting to broadcast opposition rallies.

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

Erdogan, 64, is seeking re-election for a new five-year term, and his ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, is hoping to retain its majority in parliament. A party must receive 10 percent of the votes for any of its candidates to win a seat at the legislature.

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

Turkey's opposition candidates have repeatedly complained over the lack of airtime offered by largely pro-government media. According to the latest United Nations figures, some 160,000 people have been detained and almost as many more sacked in the crackdown.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Macron proposes migrant centers in Europe to assess cases
Jun 24, 2018 - 14:33
The centers would be created in accordance with guidelines from the UN's refugee agency UNHCR, Macron said. Macron and Sanchez both stressed the need for a humanitarian but responsible approach to migration .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Saudi women are now driving as longstanding ban ends
Jun 24, 2018 - 14:30
Many haven't had a chance to take the gender-segregated driving courses that were first offered to women only three months ago. Activists have already begun campaigning to end the guardianship system, which has been chipped away at slowly over the years.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Cynthia Nixon Reveals Her Son Is Transgender On Trans Day Of Action
Jun 24, 2018 - 14:16
Nixon used the photo to celebrate Trans Day of Action during Pride month, sharing how proud she is of her son. The 52-year-old NY governor candidate shared a picture of her son celebrating the Trans Day of Action .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top England cricketers have some fun with debate over World Cup line-up
Jun 24, 2018 - 13:34
In contrast, England boss Gareth Southgate has selected a relatively green group in terms of global experience. Authorities in Colombia have said they are investigating a death threat made against Sanchez on social media.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Trump Approves Suspension Order of Separating Families
Jun 23, 2018 - 01:06
A poll by Quinnipiac University, taken June 14-17, found that the public opposed separating parents from children by 27%-66%. He did call on Congress to alleviate the plight of the separated children - but reiterated that his hands were tied.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Trump threatens 20 percent United States tariff on European Union vehicle imports
Jun 23, 2018 - 00:29
He told automakers at a White House meeting in May that he was planning tariffs on some imported vehicles. The tariff proposal has drawn sharp condemnation from Republican lawmakers and business groups.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Will Deandre Ayton be the Phoenix Suns Answer on June 21
Jun 22, 2018 - 03:56
Following the workout, Ayton and Suns general manager Ryan McDonough addressed the media, here's what they had to say. Ayton is a "once in a lifetime" player that has that natural ability to do things that are just godlike.

Melania visits US-Mexico border as Congress delays vote on family separations
Jun 22, 2018 - 03:54
Later, she toured a section of the facility where the children have bedrooms and was told they maintain their own rooms. This jacket certainly seems like quite a misstep on her part, potentially feeding into Melania Trump's critics' claims.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Iranian Women Allowed To Watch World Cup Broadcast in Tehran's Azadi Stadium
Jun 22, 2018 - 03:27
Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in Portugal's 3-3 draw with Spain their World Cup opener, including a stunning free-kick on the stroke of full-time.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Markets Right Now: Stocks rise as trade war fears ease
Jun 22, 2018 - 03:26
For months, the US and China have been sparring over tariffs on goods exported from China to the USA and vice versa. In pre-market trading on Tuesday, the Dow tanked over 350 points after Chinese stocks experienced a similar plunge.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Melania Trump visits detention centre as immigration vote looms
Jun 22, 2018 - 02:39
If those options are exhausted, authorities must find the "least restrictive" setting for the child who arrived without parents. Trump's order also directs the attorney general to "prioritize the adjudication of cases involving detained families".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Shopping online? Now you will have to pay taxes
Jun 22, 2018 - 02:31
South Dakota has estimated that it could take in up to $50 million a year in additional revenue with these taxes being collected. For the full story, head on over to CNN Money . "In 1992, mail-order sales in the United States totaled $180 billion", he wrote.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Dont blame Messi, pleads Argentina boss Sampaoli
Jun 22, 2018 - 02:22
Croatia secured three points in a 2-0 win against Nigeria in their opening game but enter the match under a cloud. Burger King removed the ad and tried to make amends after a furore erupted on social media and in global media.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top What's next for children already separated from their families?
Jun 21, 2018 - 18:18
In April, Attorney-General Jeff Sessions adopted a "zero tolerance " approach to illegal border crossings at the US-Mexico border. The Texas Civil Rights Project works to document the separations in the hopes of helping them reunite with the children.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top England snatched victory from the team of Tunisia
Jun 21, 2018 - 18:16
England shouldn't have found it so tough in its Group G opener against such opposition. According to oddsmakers, England is a -227 favorite to win on the moneyline.