[The elderly and sick who could not make it to polling stations got a chance to vote at home for the first time in Turkish election history. (Photo: Anadolu Agency)]
Ankara: Polling in Turkey’s parliamentary and presidential elections ended at 5.00 p.m. (1400GMT) on Sunday. With the polls officially closed, electoral committees across the country’s 81 provinces have started counting the ballots, according to Anadolu Agency.
Votes were cast in 180,065 polling places across the country. Voting at Turkish customs gates with adjoining countries, which began on June 7, has also ended.
Votes by Turks living abroad who cast their ballots in 60 countries at 123 embassies and consulates will be counted at the same time in the capital Ankara.
While two broad electoral alliances contested the parliamentary elections, six names are running for the presidential office.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is up for the seat from the “People’s Alliance,” racing on behalf of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
Muharrem İnce is running from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Selahattin Demirtaş is running for the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
Onthe other hand, İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener, Felicity Party (SP) leader Temel Karamollaoğlu and Patriotic Party (VP) leader Doğu Perinçek are also running for the post after collecting 100,000 signatures from citizens to be nominated.
In the parliamentary run, the AKP-MHP bloc will be up against the “Nation Alliance,” an electoral formation including the CHP, İYİ Party, and the SP.
Meanwhile, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) said on Sunday that no discrepancies were reported during the elections so far. The delegation started its on-site observation in Lieutenant Kalmaz Primary School in capital Ankara.
Speaking to reporters, Ambassador Audrey Glover, head of the election observer delegation, said they will continue following the polls closely till they end.
"There are no obstacles to the OSCE delegation, and we continue to observe the election in the methodology we employ all the time,” she said.
Some 415 observers from eight international organizations have been deployed to watch Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has sent 234 observers, while the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCEPA) sent 72, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) deployed 35, and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM) sent 10 observers.
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