Over 56 million eligible voters can for the first time cast 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).
Turks began voting Sunday for a new president and parliament in elections that pose the biggest challenge to Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamist-rooted AK Party since they swept to power more than a decade and a half ago. Erdogan needs over 50% to retain the presidency in the first round, but these are still early results and the outcome could yet change.
However the opposition raised doubts about the accuracy and reliability of the figures released by state-run Anadolu news agency, the sole distributor of the official vote tally.
In the parliamentary contest, the AK Party had 47 percent, based on 40 percent of votes counted, broadcasters said.
In the parliamentary contest, the AK Party had 44 percent and its MHP ally almost 12 percent, based on 80 percent of votes counted, broadcasters said.
With about half of votes counted in the presidential race, Mr. Erdogan had 57%, well ahead of his closest rival, Muharrem Ince, of the main opposition, secularist Republican People's Party (CHP), on 29%, broadcasters said.
But he reckoned without Ince, a former physics teacher and veteran CHP lawmaker, whose feisty performance at campaign rallies has galvanized Turkey's long-demoralized and divided opposition.
"Turkey will reach their level of development too and will be among the top ten countries in this respect", Erdogan said.
"It's time for change", said Aynur, 40, an architect who cast her vote at a polling station near Istanbul's central Taksim Square.
"I will protect your rights".
"This is no longer a Turkey we want".
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The head of Turkey's electoral commission said authorities had taken action following reports of irregularities at voting stations in southeastern Turkey.
Prominent pollster Gezici predicted that with 48 per cent of votes, Erdogan would just fall short of the 50 per cent mark needed to secure a first-round victory.
Addressing a rally in Istanbul on Saturday attended by hundreds of thousands of people, Ince promised to reverse what he and opposition parties see as a swing towards authoritarian rule under Erdogan in the country of 81 million people.
The elections will complete Turkey's transition to a new executive presidential system, a move approved in a controversial referendum previous year.
An AK Party official said it expected Mr. Erdogan to win the election outright in the first round with at least 51%.
Erdogan, 64, is seeking re-election for a five-year term with hugely increased powers under the new system, which he insists will bring prosperity and stability to Turkey, especially after a failed coup attempt in 2016 that has left the country under a state of emergency.
Today's polls could either consolidate Erdogan's hold on power or curtail his vast political ambitions.
Recent economic troubles have been expected to play a major role in voting intentions after the Turkish lira dropped to record lows against the USA dollar and inflation surged over the past year. "I hope that we will wake up to a more handsome day tomorrow".
Votes were cast in 180,065 polling places across the country.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks to the press after casting his ballot at a polling station in Istanbul, Turkey, on June 24, 2018.
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