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Turkey votes in parliamentary polls

Turkey votes in parliamentary polls

Ankara: Over 53 million people in Turkey went to the polls on Sunday to cast their votes in general elections which will reshuffle the 550-seat parliament and also define the new government for the next four years.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has framed the general elections as a key hurdle on the path to the powerful presidential system that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wanted to introduce, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

However, if the Kurdish problem-focused Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) crosses the 10 percent election threshold, the number of AKP lawmakers will decrease considerably, making it almost impossible to reach the 330 seats necessary for a constitutional change.

The state would maintain security on election day with 404,000 security personnel, Interior Minister Sebahattin Öztürk said, adding that 300,000 of the forces would be police officers.

The electorates, of which 27,248,508 are female and 26,493,330 are male, will need to present a valid identification card with their personal Turkish Republic identity number printed on it before being allowed to vote.

Once the electorate’s identity is verified, they are given a ballot paper and a stamp saying either “Evet” (yes) or “Tercih” (preference).

The elections will be held across the country in all of its 81 provinces in 174,236 ballot boxes, and a total of 73,988,955 ballot papers have been printed, packaged and sent to the district election boards.

The participation of Turkish citizens abroad in the June 7 elections was around 35.9 percent, with 1,031,526 out of a total 2,866,970 electorates abroad casting their votes in 54 countries at 112 voting stations set up by the election boards.

While the international polls were closed on the evening of May 31, voting at customs gates and airports for Turkish citizens abroad will continue until 5 p.m. on Sunday.

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