The campaigning for Turkey’s crucial elections is nearing an end

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkish politicians In the final hours before the crucial presidential and parliament elections, which could shape the future of NATO member country, they held their final rallies.

You can also find out more about the President by clicking here. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is facing the toughest challenge ever in his two decades of power, was speaking at neighborhood rallies in Istanbul, Turkey’s biggest city.

His challenger — Kemal Kilicdaroglu of the pro-secular, center-left Republican People’s Party who is the joint candidate of six opposition parties — held his final rally in the capital, Ankara, on Friday under pouring rain.

On Friday, Erdogan dismissed speculation that he wouldn’t cede power if he lost by calling the question “very ridiculous.” In an interview with a dozen Turkish broadcasters, Erdogan said he came to power through democracy and would act in line with the democratic process.

“If our nation decides to make such a different decision, we will do exactly what’s required by democracy and there’s nothing else to do,” he said.

Erdogan said Saturday that he views the elections as a “democracy celebration for our country’s future” and aired videos to undermine his opponent as incapable of leading Turkey.

The opposition’s campaign was continued by Istanbul’s popular mayor, Ekrem Imamoglu, who held final rallies in the city to call on people to vote for Kilicdaroglu.

On Friday, Kilicdaroglu asked tens of thousands gathered to hear his final speech to go vote on Sunday to “change Turkey’s destiny.” He said he was ready to bring democracy to Turkey, a major criticism of Erdogan who has cracked down on dissent in recent years.

“We will show the whole world that our beautiful country is one that can bring democracy through democratic means,” he said. Kilicdaroglu, and his party, have lost every election since he became the leader of the party in 2010. However, opinion polls show that he is slightly ahead of Erdogan.

In Turkey, the voter turnout has always been high. It shows a continued belief in civic participation in a nation where freedoms of expression and assembly were suppressed.

A run-off election will take place on May 28, if no candidate for president receives more than 50 percent of the votes.

Turkey’s Supreme Electoral Board said it decided that votes cast for another candidate, Muharrem Ince, who pulled out of the race this week His withdrawal would be considered valid and would not be taken into consideration until the potential second round.

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