Polls open in Turkey’s landmark elections

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(Ankara) – Polls opened for Turkey’s high-stakes presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24 to complete the country’s transition to a new executive presidential system that was approved in a tight referendum last year.

More than 56 million voters began gathering outside polling centers 8 a.m. local time to cast their ballots.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is seeking re-election for a new five-year term, which he says will bring prosperity and stability to Turkey, especially after a 2016 failed coup attempt. He must secure more than 50 percent of the vote for an outright win on June 24. If the threshold is not reached, a runoff could be held on July 8 between the leading two contenders.