Voters go to the polls in elections in Turkey

Erdogan expects Turkey’s development level to reach the levels of Russia, US

Turkey's voter turnout has historically been relatively high, reaching 80 percent at the last election, and the same has been expected for Sunday's vote. The victor will assume vast new presidential powers.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he expects the level of development of his country to reach the levels of Russian Federation and the United States. He attacked his opposition for lacking vision, and boasted of his achievements in office - such as new infrastructure and improved healthcare.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has remained the clear favourite to win the presidential race, which would see him emerge with new executive powers granted by the 2016 referendum that saw Turkey vote to move to a presidential system.

The president's critics, including the European Union which Turkey still nominally aspires to join, say Mr. Erdogan has used the crackdown to stifle dissent.

Al Jazeera's Sinem Koseoglu takes a look at the frontrunners.

Turkey held high-stakes presidential and parliamentary elections on Sunday that could consolidate President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's grip on power or curtail his vast political ambitions.

Kurds make up about 18 percent of Turkey's 78 million people, mostly in eastern regions, and are expected to play a key role in deciding the outcome of the parliamentary elections.

With more than 62 percent of the parliamentary votes counted, the AK Party's People's Alliance was ahead with 56.7 percent of the votes and the Nation's Alliance was in second place with 32.1 percent of the votes.

Polls across the country officially closed at 5 p.m. local time in the elections where previously divided opposition parties have come together in a tenuous alliance in an effort to end what they call Erdogan's march toward "one-man rule".

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Selahattin Demirtas is one of the country's best-known politicians.

Six candidates are vying for the Turkish presidency.

In another group-related incident, a mass brawl broke out when scours of citizens voted in bulk at polling station in Suruc.

Analysts say the opposition's performance is all the more troubling for the authorities given how the campaign has been slanted in favor of Erdogan, who has dominated media airtime.

Emotions are running high today as the vote ushers in a powerful new executive presidency that is only backed by a small majority of Turks who say the new system of government will further erode democracy in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member country.

The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) managed to garner 21.8 percent of the votes while the National Alliance it formed with the newly-formed Good Party (İP) and Felicity Party (SP) won 33.1 percent of the votes.

Erdogan's supporters said only he could ensure political and economic stability in Turkey.

Erdogan and AKP supporters have dismissed allegations they will tamper with the election results, highlighting that those claims contradicted the opposition's insistence that the AKP will lose its majority. Without them, many said, the country could not function. This state restricts some freedoms and allows the government to bypass parliament with decrees.

CHP party spokesman Bulent Tezcan criticised state media coverage of the election results, saying they were trying to manipulate the public's perception of the results in order to demoralise Mr. Erdogan's opponents and encourage election monitors to stop scrutinising the counting of votes.

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