Sparing the last two days of campaigning for Istanbul, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan nearly set foot in every major square in Turkey's largest city, showing his campaigning skills on the ground by holding 12 district rallies.
On Friday, Erdoğan's program began at noon in the Asian side of the city. After rallies in Kartal, Maltepe, Ataşehir and Üsküdar districts, Erdoğan crossed to the European side and held major gatherings in Sarıyer, Gaziosmanpaşa and Beyoğlu districts.
The president had a tighter schedule on Saturday as election bans were to start at 6:00 p.m. local time. His tour began in the western Esenyurt district on the European side at noon and continued in the neighboring Beylikdüzü district, which are home to some 850,000 and 315,000 people, respectively. He then held rallies in Avcılar and Küçükçekmece districts, finishing his marathon in Eyüp district shortly before the election bans started.
In each rally, which last shorter than his usual rallies due to tight schedule, Erdoğan was greeted by tens of thousands of people.
Istanbul, where Erdoğan served as mayor between 1994 and 1998 and rose to nationwide prominence, is home to to one-sixth of Turkey's population and one-fifth of the voters.
On Sunday, 56,322,632 registered voters will head to 180,065 ballot boxes across the country. Voting will start at 8.00 a.m. local time (0500GMT) and will continue through 5.00 p.m. local time (1400GMT). Voting at the customs gates, which started on June 7, will also end at 5.00 p.m. local time (1400GMT) on Sunday.
As part of election bans, campaigning terminates as of Saturday evening. Selling alcoholic beverages are banned from 06.00 a.m. (0300GMT) to 00.00 p.m. (2100GMT) while consumption of alcoholic beverages are also prohibited in public places. Public entertainment places will be closed during the voting period.
Voters will be able to cast their ballots after they show their ID cards or any other official identification document. It is forbidden to enter the voting booth with cameras and mobile phones.
Voters will cast two separate ballot papers in the same envelope -- one for the presidential and the other for parliamentary elections. After the voting ends, ballots cast for the presidential candidates will be counted first.
Eight political parties are participating in the parliamentary elections that include the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), forming the People's Alliance; the Republican People's Party (CHP), the Good Party (IP), and the Saadet Party (SP), forming the Nation Alliance; and the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), the Free Cause (Hüda-Par) Party, and the Patriotic Party (VP).
Six candidates are running for president: Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for People's Alliance, Muharrem Ince for CHP, Selahattin Demirtaş for HDP, Meral Akşener for IP, Temel Karamollaoğlu for SP, and Doğu Perinçek for VP.
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