A head to head race is expected polling stations in

A head to head race is expected: polling stations in Turkey…

Incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdogan has to worry about his re-election after 20 years in power. Results are expected in the late afternoon.

Voting in parliamentary and presidential elections in Türkiye has ended. Polling stations across the country closed at 4 pm CEST on Sunday. Results are expected in the late afternoon. A total of around 64 million people in Germany and abroad were called to elect the president and a new parliament. In the presidential election, a head-to-head race is emerging between incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdogan and opposition leader Kemal Kilicdarolgu.

It is not yet clear who will win the majority in the 600-seat parliament. If none of the candidates gets more than 50% of the vote, the two strongest candidates will go to a runoff in two weeks. According to polls, only a low single-digit result is predicted for the candidate of an ultranationalist party alliance, Sinan Ogan.

Although he withdrew his candidacy, Muharrem Ince of the Fatherland Party also appears on the ballot. According to the electoral authority, if the voter puts the stamp under it, the vote will still be counted. Ince only announced his withdrawal after the previous vote by Turks abroad. These votes must also be valid. Ince were hardly calculated chances. His withdrawal made a first-round decision between favorites Erdogan and Kilicdaroglu more likely.

The election took place without incident so far.

According to the electoral authorities, the elections took place without major incidents so far. “So far the elections have gone smoothly,” the head of the YSK election commission was quoted as saying by the state-run Anadolu news agency on Sunday. He hopes it stays that way. The pro-Kurdish opposition party HDP confirmed a media report that election observers from sister party YSP were attacked in the southeastern Turkish city of Mardin.

Television footage showed Kilicdaroglu at the polls in Ankara on Sunday. “We miss democracy a lot,” he said. “Spring” will be here soon, the 74-year-old said, referring to a possible election victory.

Contrary to expectations, Erdogan traveled to Ankara

Contrary to expectations, Erdogan traveled to Ankara after the vote in Istanbul. The president landed in the capital early Sunday afternoon, state news agency Anadolu reported. At noon, Erdogan said he would follow the results of Istanbul’s parliamentary and presidential elections.

Erdogan became prime minister in 2003 and has been president since 2014. Since the introduction of a presidential system five years ago, he has had far-reaching powers, but the parliament has been weakened. It is still unclear who will win a majority in the National Assembly with its 600 deputies.

The vote will be monitored by international observers from the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) and the Council of Europe. The first partial results, which initially have little meaning, are still expected for the evening. Reliable results are expected on Monday night.