In addition to the observers appointed by the parties, the Council of Europe sent 350 supervisors to oversee over the election process.
Polling stations in Turkey have reportedly closed at around 5 pm this afternoon, according to AFP.
The elections are considered the most important in the Republic’s 100-year history: whereby Turkey is set at a crossroads. Erdogan’s claim for a third term of the presidency is contended by Kilicdaroglu who aims to pivot Turkey towards a more secular Westernized course.
Hundreds of supervisors were reportedly deployed to the 50,000 polling stations since 8 am this morning.
In addition to the observers appointed by the parties, the Council of Europe sent 350 supervisors to oversee the election process.
Polling boxes displayed the names of the four candidates. Recep Tayyip Erdogan the incumbent president has been in office since 2014. Erdogan’s primary competitor is Kemal Kilicdaroglu: the leader of the Republican People’s Party and the designated candidate of the six-party coalition ranging from the nationalist right to the liberal center-left.
The third candidate is Sinan Ogan: a former deputy of the far-right, who received less than 5 percent in recent opinion polls. The fourth candidate, Muharram Ince, despite having a designated ballot box has withdrawn from the presidential race after discussions with his party.
If no candidate garners an absolute majority of votes, a second round of elections will be held on May 28.
Simultaneously, legislative elections will entail the selection of 600 members of the Grand National Assembly. This assembly is a unicameral parliament whose role has diminished since the 2017 constitutional reform which resulted in a strong presidential system.
In the current parliament, the bloc formed by Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party and its allies in the Nationalist Movement Party has the majority. The opposition aims to garner a two-thirds majority to pass a constitutional amendment that would empower the parliament.
While Turkey’s constitution forbids presidents from sustaining their incumbency for three terms, Erdogan’s first term (2014-2018) preceded the constitutional amendment and thus doesn’t count.
For his part, Kilicdaroglu said that he would not hold the presidency for more than one term if he won the elections.