Ankara, March 30: Eight people were killed and 18 others were injured Sunday in clashes in local elections in southern Turkey, reports said.
Two people died and nine others were wounded when they were fighting for the election to neighbourhood units at Golbasi village in Kirikhan town of southern Hatay province, Xinhua reported citing private Dogan News Agency.
Six others were killed and five wounded in a gunfight between candidates for neighbourhood units and their relatives in southern Hilvan town of southern Sanliurfa province.
The report also said that an 18-year-old substance-addicted man injured four members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in a knife attack in the southern Gaziantep province of Turkey Sunday as voting was underway.
The elections are being held amidst a ban on social media sites Twitter and Youtube ordered by the country’s uthorities.
The Higher Election Board (YSK) has announced that a total of 52,695,831 people are eligible for voting at a total of 177,044 polling stations in 81 provinces throughout Turkey. Security measures have been tightened against possible incidents.
Twenty-six parties, including the ruling AKP, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party, are competing in the local elections.
The voters will cast their ballots for mayors, administrators of district and provincial municipalities, and provincial city council members.
In the two main provinces of Ankara and Istanbul, the race is running between incumbent AKP mayors and challengers from the main opposition CHP.
The AKP, still popular despite a shake-up, is expected to embrace the local polls as the first party, local daily Sabah reported.
The AKP received 39.1 percent of votes in the 2009 local elections and 49.9 percent in national elections in 2011.