Turkey: Erdogan challenger says 'our choice is the West'

Foreign vote closed with record 48.78% turnout

20 June, 16:46

    Muharren Ince, the challenger to Erdogan in early elections to be held in Turkey on Sunday Muharren Ince, the challenger to Erdogan in early elections to be held in Turkey on Sunday

    ISTANBUL - Muharren Ince, the challenger to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in early elections to be held in Turkey on Sunday, told journalists "our choice is the West".

    "Immediately after I am elected president, I will take a tour of the European capitals," said Ince, who is running with the country's main opposition party, the Republican People's Party (CHP).

    The latest polls show Ince at around 30%, which could force Erdogan into a runoff on July 8.

    Ince said the most urgent priority is the judicial system, and said he wants a return to respect for the rule of law and a parliamentary system, abandoned after last year's referendum on the presidential system.

    Meanwhile on Tuesday evening, voting by Turkish citizens living abroad closed with a record 47.78% turnout, according to the Supreme Electoral Council (YSK) in Ankara.

    In the 123 polling stations set up in 60 countries, 1,486,532 voters casted a ballot, out of more than three million eligible voters.

    The highest turnout came from Belgium and Switzerland, where it was over 55%, while in Germany, which has nearly half of all the eligible voters, turnout was 49.7%.

    Foreign turnout is typically lower than that inside the country, where it regularly goes over 80%.

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