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Voting begins in Turkey’s elections

Polling in Turkey’s parliamentary and presidential elections began on Sunday, with 56,322,632 registered voters and 180,065 ballot boxes across the country.

Voting started at 8.00 a.m. local time (0500GMT) and will continue through 5.00 p.m. local time (1400GMT).

Voters will be able to cast their ballots after they show their ID cards or any other official identification document.

It is forbidden to enter the voting booth with photo/video cameras and mobile phones.

Voters are casting two separate ballot papers in the same envelope — one for the presidential and one for the parliamentary elections.

After the voting ends, ballots cast for the presidential candidates will be counted first.

Mobile ballot boxes

For the first time, bedridden voters — more than 17,000 — are being visited at their homes by election officials who will pick up their ballots.

Votes abroad

Some 1.49 million expats voted in a 13-day period between June 7-19 at 123 Turkish missions abroad.

Expat votes have been brought to Turkey by airmail and they will be counted at the same time as the votes cast in Turkey.

Balloting at customs gates that began on June 7 and will end today.

Parties in the running

Eight political parties are participating in the parliamentary elections that include the Justice and Development (AK) Party, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the Free Cause (Huda-Par) Party, the newly formed Good (IYI) Party, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the Felicity (Saadet) Party and the Patriotic (Vatan) Party.

For the first time in Turkish history, political parties went to elections by forming alliances.

Turkey’s ruling AK Party and the MHP formed an alliance (People’s Alliance) while the CHP, the IYI Party, and the Felicity Party constituted another (Nation Alliance).

A bill, submitted by the ruling AK Party and the MHP in February, stated that a political party could back another during elections.

In general elections, a political party must receive 10 percent of the votes nationwide for any of its candidates to win a seat in parliament. Now, only the alliance needs to pass the 10-percent threshold in order for the parties to claim seats in parliament.

Ballots are bearing the name of the alliance juxtaposed to that of the candidates whose parties have decided to proceed with forging an alliance.

Presidential candidates

Six candidates are running for president: Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the alliance (People’s Alliance) formed by Turkey’s ruling AK Party and the MHP, Muharrem Ince for CHP, Selahattin Demirtas for HDP, Meral Aksener for the Good (IYI) Party, Temel Karamollaoglu for the Felicity (Saadet) Party, and Dogu Perincek for the Patriotic (Vatan) Party.

Election day bans

News media organizations are not allowed to broadcast any political advertising, predictions or comments about the elections until 06.00 p.m. (1500GMT).

Between 06.00 p.m. (1500GMT) and 09.00 p.m. (1800GMT), media outlets will only be able to publish official announcements about the elections issued by Supreme Election Council.

Selling alcoholic beverages are banned from 06.00 a.m. (0300GMT) to 00.00 p.m. (2100GMT) while consumption of alcoholic beverages are also prohibited in public places.

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