Turkey: air defence purchase from Russian Federation 'a done deal'

Content image- Phnom Penh Post

Turkey votes in local polls which could deliver a blow to Erdogan

The violence took place as Turks voted in a grassroots support test for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

More than 44 million citizens were expected to vote at 142,777 polling stations in 30 largest cities, called metropolitan municipalities.

Two members of the small Islamist Felicity Party, a polling station official and an election observer, were shot dead in Malatya province, a party spokesman said.

It's a risky time to alienate investors because Turkey is already facing the threat of USA sanctions unless it drops a planned purchase of a defense system from Russian Federation.

"My expectation is there will be good things coming out of this election, we will win with a big difference", said Sinan, an AKP supporter speaking after voting in Istanbul.

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Last month, US Vice President Mike Pence personally appealed to Erdogan in a phone call to renege on a missile deal with Russian Federation in favour of an American one, Middle East Eye reported exclusively. At least 21 people were injured in southeastern Diyarbakir province from brawls over the election of neighborhood administrators, Anadolu said. Dozens of people were hurt in other election-related clashes in the southeast, media reported.

Elsewhere, Istanbul police detained seven people after a fight between candidates for muhtar (a village chief) in the Esenyurt district.

The senators - Democrats Jeanne Shaheen and Chris Van Hollen and Republicans James Lankford and Thom Tillis - have all expressed alarm over Turkey's planned purchase of Russian missiles and said the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally can not have both.

The HDP denies links to the outlawed militant Kurdistan Workers' Party.

Erdogan's conservative, Islamic-based party gained 46 per cent of the votes in the elections with more than half of the more than 194,000 ballot boxes counted, according to state broadcaster TRT.

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"I voted for the AKP for continuity and so that their services continue", the homemaker said.

The leading candidates to be Istanbul's next mayor have cast their ballots in the key race in Turkey's local elections. However, it strategically sat out critical mayoral races in major cities, including Istanbul and Ankara, with the aim of sending votes to a rival secular opposition party to help challenge Erdogan's party.

"We have an agreement with Russian Federation, and we are bound by it", he said, adding that pressure from other countries was against worldwide law. On the eve of the elections, the government relayed indictments against CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu as well as pro-Kurdish HDP co-chairs Pervin Buldan and Sezai Temelli to parliament on Saturday to seek the body's approval for their prosecution on various charges.

"Whoever wins Istanbul, wins Turkey", said Erdogan, whose political career began when he became the city's mayor in 1994.

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