Erdogan expects Turkey’s development level to reach the levels of Russia, US

Erdogan seeks to cement power in Turkey's high-stakes votes

Erdogan leads in Turkey’s presidential election – preliminary results

His rivals, the Republican People's Party (CHP) candidate Muharrem Ince and the Iyi (Good) Party candidate Meral Aksener, also cast their votes in the cities they had registered in. There were reports of a scuffle at the polling station in Suruc and voting was briefly halted there. The streets, however, appear to be rather empty as of now.

A coalition of parties have teamed up to challenge the hold that Mr Erdogan's AK party has on parliament - and the president risks losing his majority.

"Turkey will reach their level of development too and will be among the top ten countries in this respect", Erdogan said.

The men agreed that their children were too young to "truly remember" the bad days before Mr Erdogan, which is why the younger generation are supporters of the Kurdish HDP.

Previously, ballots unstamped by officials had to be discarded, but that was changed by a new election law that allows the votes to stand if the lack of stamp is adjudged to be a mistake. Goran Tomasevic / Reuters 0922: What's at stake?

Over 56 million eligible voters are for the first time casting ballots simultaneously in the parliamentary and presidential elections, with Erdogan looking for a first round knockout and an overall majority for his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he expects the level of development of his country to reach the levels of Russian Federation and the United States.

National Alliance parliamentary candidates vowed that if they secure majority control of the legislature, they will try to roll back the Erdogan-backed constitutional amendments narrowly approved in the controversial 2017 referendum.

Erdogan has overseen historic change in Turkey since his Islamic-rooted ruling party first came to power in 2002 after years of secular domination. There were no exit polls and the first results were expected later in the evening.

The elections will complete Turkey's transition to a new executive presidential system, a move approved in a controversial referendum past year.

The pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party is nearing the 10% electoral threshold to enter parliament, with 9% of the vote.

"This stability must continue and that can happen with Erdogan so I voted for him", said janitor Mehmet Yildirim, 48, in Istanbul.

Voting already closed last week for Turkish citizens resident overseas, with just under 1.5 million out of just over 3 million registered voters casting their ballot, a turnout of just under 49 percent. If a candidate wins just over 50 percent of the vote, he will win the presidency, but if not, there will be a runoff on July 8.

"Turkey", he said, "is staging a democratic revolution". Without them, many said, the country could not function. Pro-Kurdish candidate Selahattin Demirtas tweeted his hopes for a calm election day, urging young people to vote. "I hope that we will wake up to a more attractive day tomorrow".

This weekend's election in Turkey may be a lose-lose scenario for investors.

State-run Anadolu news agency said "legal action" had been launched in the southeast against 10 foreigners - French, German and Italian citizens - who identified themselves as election monitors but did not have accreditation.

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