Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan and Kemal Kilicdaroglu.

On Sunday, the Supreme Election Council of Turkey removed the country’s reporting limitations, allowing early results from the general elections to start coming in.

With 21.33% of the ballots collected, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was ahead of his challengers. The major opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), however, claimed that preliminary results were encouraging and that it would start disclosing statistics after a larger fraction of the votes had been tabulated.

Early estimations, according to the state-run news agency Anadolu, suggested that Erdogan had received 55.03% of the votes, compared to Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leading opponent, who received 39%.

According to Anadolu, Sinan Ogan has garnered 5.40% of the vote.

Nearly three hours after polls throughout the nation closed, votes are still being tallied.

The bitterly contested presidential and legislative elections on Sunday might result inErdogan’s 20-year reign must end.

The strongman leader of Turkey faces his greatest battle to date in this event. He is dealing with a weak economy and charges that the disastrous earthquake on 6 February was made worse by inadequate construction regulations and a botched rescue operation.

For the first time, Turkey’s divided opposition has converged on Kilicdaroglu, who is running as the candidate for a coalition of six opposition parties.

On Sunday night, a candidate must receive more than 50% of the vote in order to be elected. Otherwise, a run-off will be held on May 28 in Turkey.

Voter Korhan Futaci, 46, told CNN from a polling place in Istanbul’s Beyogly neighbourhood: “My vote is for freedom. For the future of our children, I voted. I have hope.

The earthquake claimed the lives of Yeliz Sahin, 46, whose brother and son. She said: “It’s a historical moment that we’ve been waiting for for 20 years. This entire system must be altered.

Eren Uzmele, a 19-year-old first-time voter, added: “The destiny of the nation is in our hands. Young people hold it in their hands.

Kilicdaroglu, a mild-mannered 74-year-old former bureaucrat, has pledged to revive Turkey’s struggling economy and rebuild the democratic institutions that have been weakened by Erdogan’s rise to dictatorship.

Voting was done by prominent candidates.

Erdogan told reporters after casting his ballot in Istanbul, “We hope to God for a brighter future for our country, our people, and Turkish democracy. All of our voters must cast their ballots without hesitation till 17.00 hours before the election in order to show the power of Turkish democracy.

Kilicdaroglu stated after the vote in Ankara that “we all missed democracy, being together, and hugging so much. From this point forward, hopefully, you’ll observe that spring will arrive in our nation and last forever.

Erdogan ended his election campaign on Saturday evening by worshipping at Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia, a mosque and significant historical landmark. Kilicdaroglu, however, went to the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the man who founded modern Turkey, andsteadfastly secular.

In his campaign for reelection, Erdogan ran on a platform of stability, an independent foreign policy, and continuing to support Turkey’s defence sector. Erdogan has been touting the merits of his lengthy leadership. He recently cut the retirement age and increased government employee pay by 45%.

Erdogan’s conservative, working-class support base has been eroding over the past two years as a result of Turkey’s currency collapse and skyrocketing costs.

Erdogan faced political repercussions after a devastating earthquake struck southeast Turkey on February 6 and destroyed huge portions of the region. His detractors criticised him for a bungled rescue operation and inadequate construction restrictions that were overseen for 20 years by his Justice and Development (AK) party.

A view of blank ballots at a polling station in Ankara.

The government arrested scores of contractors, building inspectors, and project managers for breaking building codes in the weeks following the earthquake. The action was criticised as being victim-blaming.

Additionally, the administration has expressed regret for “mistakes” that were made in the early wake of the catastrophe.

Over 51,000 people died as a result of the earthquake in Turkey and nearby Syria. The southeastern Turkish countryside is littered with unmarked graves, and thousands of people are still missing.

Kilicdaroglu received a boost on Thursday when Muharrem Ince, a minor contender, abruptly withdrew from the race. Despite Ince’s poor polling results, several opposition leaders were concerned that he would split the anti-Erdogan vote.

Every five years, elections are held in Turkey. According to the country’s deputy foreign minister, more than 1.8 million voters who reside overseas already cast ballots on April 17. This information was published in the Turkish daily Daily Sabah on Wednesday. There are more over 65 million eligible Turks.

Ahmet Yener, the head of the Supreme Election Council (YSK), stated last month that at least 1 million voters in earthquake-affected areas are anticipated to skip this election.a time of relocation.

Election representative prepare the ballots at a polling station at a polling station in Istanbul.

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