Local elections held in Türkiye

Maria Novoselova/"Vestnik Kavkaza"

On Sunday, March 31, residents of Türkiye elect 30 mayors of major cities and other members of local governments. According to the Central Election Commission, more than 61 million people will take part in the voting.

In 49 provinces, polling stations opened at 08:00 and will close at 17:00. In 32 provinces located in the east of the republic, voting time was shifted by one hour due to Ramadan. Citizens living in these territories can make their choice from 07:00 to 16:00.

The Election Commission also decided that during the three hours after the elections - from 18:00 to 21:00 - only election-related news is allowed to be broadcast. However, the first voting results will become known only in the evening.

There is no second round of elections. If the local voting results are cancelled, it will be held again on June 2.

Forecasts
Sociologists expect that the main struggle will take place in the country's largest cities - Ankara and Istanbul. There, the positions of mayors have been held by opposition candidates since 2019.

According to Western media, Istanbul is of particular importance for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), where current President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan grew up and began his path to power. At the same time, polls conducted in the run-up to the elections indicate that it will be very difficult for the AKP candidate Murat Kurum to win in Istanbul, since the current mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, representing the Republican People's Party, is very popular among the citizens.

The authorities also hope for the victory of their candidate in Ankara, where Mansur Yavaş, a representative of the Republican People's Party, currently rules. However, both sociologists and political scientists believe that Yavaş will not be able to compete with Turgut Altınok.

Security measures
The Turkish Ministry of Interior promised that about 600 thousand law enforcement officers would provide security on election day. 17 thousand freelance law enforcement officers will also help them.

© Photo :Maria Novoselova/"Vestnik Kavkaza"
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