ANKARA, Turkey: The Turkish first direct presidential election is being held on Sunday while opinion polls show that the incumbent Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is on the lead and widely expected to win the poll.
There are 53 million people who are eligible to cast their votes at more than 165,000 polling stations set up across the country to directly elect their head of state for a five-year term.
The 60-year-old Erdogan who is Turkey’s current prime minister and also leads the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) is among three main candidates in the election.
Other two candidates include the 71-year-old Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the former head of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and backed by the center-left Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
The 41-year-old Selahattin Demirtas is also running for president as candidate of the pro-Kurdish leftist party HDP.
If none of the three candidates receives more than 50 percent of the votes, a second round will be held on August 24.