Political party leaders are casting their votes, conveying messages, and expressing hopes as the ballot boxes opened at 08:00 this morning for today's elections. Kemal Kiliçdaroglu, the joint candidate of the Nation's Alliance, cast his ballot at the Argentine Primary School in Ankara.
''I went to the ballot box and my gratitude goes out to all my fellow citizens. We have all missed democracy, being together and to embrace one another. From now you will see, spring will come to this country and spring will forever continue. I offer my sincere love and respect to all of you,'' the Republican People's Party (CHP) leader stated outside the schoolyard. While leaving the school he was showered with "President Kiliçdaroglu" chants by voters.
Kiliçdaroglu is widely considered the main rival to dethrone incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in what polls in the last weeks indicated as a neck and neck contest.
Ogan: ''Good luck to our nation''
ATA Alliance presidential candidate Sinan Ogan voted at Kocatepe Mimar Kemal Anatolian High School in Turkey's capital.
''Good luck to our nation. I call on all our citizens to cast their ballots. Let's spend this election in a calm, peaceful, and festive atmosphere. We are excited,'' he said after using his vote.
Ogan is the third presidential contender. Surveys suggest that his chances are slim to negligible.
Ince: ''I will sue whoever spread these things"
Homeland Party's Leader Muharrem Ince, who was CHP's frontrunner in the 2018 elections but managed to receive a disappointing 30.6%, voted at the Yasamkent Sener Çakmak Anatolian High School.
"You are writing that there is a cassette conspiracy, you are wrong. There is slander. There is editing. These accounts are not real. They took them from porn sites and pasted my head,'' Ince said, who was officially in the running in the presidential elections up to May 12 but pulled out, citing that he is the subject of a smear campaign.
"I will sue each and everyone who spreads this, just for political reasons, just to wear me down. My lawyers are scanning them one by one, including my former friends. I will sue whoever spread these things," he continued at the voting station.
Buldan: "I hope our votes will serve peace''
At the Republican High School in Ipekyolu, Van, Co-Chairperson of People's Democratic Party (HDP) Pervin Buldan was welcomed by applause while casting her vote.
Buldan said it is time for them to be rewarded for their efforts and hard work.
"I hope our votes will serve peace, love, justice, and democracy. We are all very hopeful and excited. There is an order of evil, and this order has to come to an end," she said after casting her ballot.
Green Left Party Co-Spokespersons vote
Green Left Party (YSP) Co-Spokesperson Çigdem Kiliçgün Uçar voted at the Istanbul in the Gazi Primary School in the Gazi neighborhood.
Uçar pointed out that democracy needs to be established in Turkey and emphasized her hope that the election results will lead to a new constitution and a democratic Republic.
YSP Co-Spokesperson Ibrahim Akin, while being accompanied by Socialist Refoundation Party (SYKP) Co-Chairperson Cavit Ugur accompanied, put his ballot in the box at the Suphi Koyuncuoglu High School in Bornova, Izmir.
"We will celebrate the victory of democracy on May 15, " Akin stated
Good Party leader Aksener
Good (IYI) Party President Meral Aksener and part of the Nation Alliance cast her vote in the Haci Sabanci Anatolian High School in Beylerbeyi, Istanbul and talked to the press after.
While talking to the press Aksener reminded everyone to respect the election results.
"The decision by our dignified nation is most welcome for us. Hopefully, everything will be good, and everything will be beautiful," she said.
Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) leader Ali Babacan cast his ballot in Turkey's capital Ankara.
While talking to the press he underscored that elections are the festival of a democracy.
"Let this election bring good results for all those who have longed for democracy in the whole world," the former economic czar stated.
Imamoglu: "Everything will be beautiful"
Ekrem Imamoglu, Mayor of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IBB) voted at Emin Yükseloglu Anatolian Imam Hatip High School in Beylikdüzü, Istanbul.
"Our country very much needs calm, peace, and fraternity. I wish a day and evening that each vote cast in the ballot box reaches its end and that the results are respected in a democratic manner,'' Imamoglu said after casting his vote, further repeated the slogan of his successful 2019 election campaign, ''Everything will be very beautiful."
Turkey's 64 million eligible voters have until 17:00 pm to cast their ballots.
Source: English Bianet