Will Turkey's elections produce a surprise result? | Turkey

Will Turkey's elections produce a surprise result? | Turkey

Sheikh Ghulam Rabbani Afghani, a prominent preacher in the United Kingdom and also the head of Faizan e Islami center has called on Muslims to support President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ahead of Sunday's presidential and parliamentary elections.

The early parliamentary and presidential elections in Turkey are scheduled to be held on Sunday, June 24, that is, nearly a year and a half earlier than planned.

Presidential candidate of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Muharrem Ince holds a potato and an onion as he delivers a speech during a rally in Istanbul, on June 23, 2018.

Erdogan, who has dominated Turkish politics for a decade and a half, is tipped to win the presidential election but possibly only in a run-off set for early July, opinion polls suggest. It's the first time they'll be voting for president and parliament at the same time - a change approved previous year by a referendum that switched Turkey's governance system to an executive presidency.

Erdogan needs at least 50% of the vote to win in the first-round presidential poll on June 24. "If Ince wins, the courts will be independent", said Ince, adding he would lift Turkey's state of emergency within 48 hours of being elected. Five of those parties will also run as part of two competing electoral alliances: The "People Alliance" by Erdogan's ruling party and a nationalist party versus the "Nation Alliance" by the leading secular opposition, a nascent centre-right party and an Islamic-leaning party. Few newspapers or other media now openly criticise the government and he has received far more election coverage than other presidential candidates.

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In his home district of Istanbul's Beyoglu on Friday, Mr Erdogan played the local lad made good, rallying a large and cheering crowd with tales of growing up without a refrigerator and hardship faced by his mother. But if it achieves 10% or more, it will remain in parliament and make it harder for Mr Erdogan's AKP to gain a majority.

Mr Erdogan is hopeful of increasing Turkey's power on the world stage.

In a final appeal for votes in a video clip from his high-security prison, Demirtas said: "If the HDP fails to get into parliament, all Turkey will lose".

Turkish voters living overseas - about three million of the 59 million voters in total - have already cast their votes.

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