- Title: TURKEY: POLITICIANS VOTE IN GENERAL ELECTIONS
- Date: 24th December 1995
- Summary: ANKARA, TURKEY (DECEMBER 24, 1995) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) 1. SV NECMETTIN ERBAKAN CASTS BALLOT 0.12 2. SV MEDIA (2 SHOTS) 0.20 3. SV ERBAKAN SPEAKING (TURKISH) 0.25 4. LV EXTERIOR VOTING STATION 0.30 5. SV DENIZ BAYKAL OF REPUBLICAN PEOPLE'S PARTY VOTES / LEAVES VOTING STATION (2 SHOTS) 0.52 6. SV VOTES CAST 1.01 7. CU INK IS PUT ON PERSON AFTER VOTE (PREVENTS MULTIPLE VOTING) 1.05 8. SV OFFICIALS CHECK IDENTIFICATION OF VOTER / INK (3 SHOTS) 1.17 9. SV PEOPLE QUEUING TO VOTE / VOTING (4 SHOTS) 1.38 10.CU LIST OF CANDIDATES 1.44 11.SV MORE OF VOTERS (2 SHOTS) 2.03 12.SV FORMER PREMIER AND CHAIRMAN OF DEMOCRATIC LEFT PARTY BULENT ECEVIT AND WIFE RAHSAN VOTE (3 SHOTS) 2.31 13.LV EXT VOTING STATION 2.38 14.SV UNIDENTIFIED POLITICIAN VOTING / LEAVING VOTING STATION (2 SHOTS) 2.56 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
- Embargoed: 8th January 1996 12:00
- Location: ANKARA, TURKEY
- Country: Turkey
- Reuters ID: LVACB60JBVSGGMNLX181YIPYX18O
- Story Text: Polls closed on Sunday (Decemebr 24) after Turks cast their votes for a new parliament in elections seen as a referendum on whether Turkey should strengthen ties with the West or follow a more Islamic-oriented path.
Polling stations over much of the country closed at four p.m.
(1400 GMT) -- nine hours after they opened at dawn. Polling began and ended an hour earlier in 32 eastern and southeastern electoral districts. Turkey is split up into a total 83 electoral districts.
Publishing results until nine p.m. (1900 GMT) is banned. A similar ban on pre-election opinion polls was widely flouted and it is unclear if Turkey's many private stations will adhere to the ban.
The polls pitted the pro-Islamic Welfare Party (RP) against a large but divided conservative camp.
Islamist leader Necmettin Erbakan predicted victory and the salavation of the Turkish people as he cast his vote early on Sunday to the acclaim of his party faithful.
Opinion polls and analysts agree the race is too close to call, with the two conservative factions -- including outgoing Prime Minister Tansu Ciller's True Path Party (DYP) -- and Welfare all hovering around 20 percent of the 34 million eligible votes.
That paves the way for a messy result that could see the Islamists narrowly emerge as the biggest party, only to be shut out of the coalition calculus by its secularist rivals.
Voters arrived at polling stations early in the capital Ankara, but the low-key atmosphere contrasted to the flag-waving motorcades and noisy soundtrucks of recent days. Electioneering is strictly banned on polling day.
Ciller was expected to vote later in the day near her home along Istanbul's scenic Bosphorus.
Ciller and her right-wing rival Mesaut Yilmaz, leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP), pursued a campaign alternately slamming one another and their Islamist foe.
In accordance with tradition, President Suleyman Demirel is expected to ask the party with the most seats to try to form a government. But the leading parties have all said they would not join forces with the Islamists, should they get the mandate.
At the same time, Ciller is in danger of losing her grasp on the DYP if she cedes domination of the right to Yilmaz, a bitter personal rival. The two leaders have stubbornly resisted calls, led by business circles, for a conservative coalition.
Ciller was forced to call early elections after her right-left coalition collapsed in September.
The main social democratic party, the ultra-nationalists and the Kurdish party, meanwhile, are struggling for the 10 percent of the national vote required to gain seats in parliament.
Voters will choose from among 12 parties who have put forward candidates for the 550-seat parliament.
The RP, relying on general ideological coherence and grassroots organisation, is seeking to build on the big gains of 1994, when it captured Istanbul, Ankara and other cities in local polls. It has traded heavily on its anti-Western message and clean image.
For her part, Ciller hopes to convert the new customs union with Europe, sealed on December 13, into votes for her vision of a secularist Turkey anchored to the West.
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