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Mar 31, 2019

World News | Erdogan faces test to keep cities as Turkey votes

Read more: Recep Tayyip Erdogan faces test in Turkey's local elections
How many are taking part?
  • Voting was underway at 200,000 polling stations to elect:
  • Mayors for 30 large cities, 51 provincial capitals and 922 districts, and
  • Tens of thousands of neighborhood or village administrators.
  • More than 57 million voters are eligible to cast ballots.
Read more: Turkish court dismisses case against DW contributor Pelin Unker
City control: Following a 2017 referendum which transferred central political powers to the presidency, control of Turkey's main cities is effectively the only center of power outside direct presidential command.
Referendum on Erdogan's rule: The Turkish capital, Ankara, and Erdogan's home city, Istanbul, are symbolically very important. Opinion polls have suggested Erdogan could lose control of both.
"Whoever wins Istanbul, wins Turkey," said Erdogan, whose political career began when he became the city's mayor in 1994.
That win "was a springboard for him to go on and dominate Turkish politics," said DW's Turkey correspondent, Dorian Jones.
"Given the fact that Turkey is in the midst of very difficult economic times, these elections are seen as posing a major test to Erdogan."
Polls will close at 4 p.m. (1300 UTC) in the east, and an hour later in the west.

Source: DW

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