Turkey elections: Erdogan gives cash to supporters in stark violation of Turkish law

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was seen handing out cash to supporters after casting his vote in the runoff vote of the presidential election on Sunday.

The incumbent head of state handed out bank notes worth 200 liras (approximately $10) each, and shook hands with supporters who were lined up outside the door, Reuters reported.

Earlier on May 14, before the first round of the presidential poll, Erdogan was seen handing out cash to kids.

Erdogan’s voting day cash handout: What does it mean?

Turkish law bars candidates from campaigning on election day. The country’s election oversight authorities are yet to take note of Erdogan’s cash handout act.

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Meanwhile, on Sunday, cheers also erupted among supporters of Erdogan’s rival Kemal Kilicdaroglu as he arrived to cast his vote in the country’s election runoff on Sunday.

Supporters chanted “People’s President Kilicdaroglu” as the leader of Turkey’s opposition came out of the polling station, waving to the crowd.

While Erdogan has denied early opinion polls and came out ahead in the first round, Kilicdaroglu’s supporters are holding out hope for a change in the country’s leadership.

A win for Erdogan will extend his rule into its third decade.

Voting started at 8 AM (0500 GMT) and will finish at 5 PM (1400 GMT).

ALSO WATCH | Turkey elections: Voters to head to polls again in Turkey’s first-ever runoff

The outcome is expected to start becoming clear by early evening local time. Polling stations were reportedly quieter in many places than two weeks ago, when turnout was 89 per cent.

Turkey had a runoff vote on Sunday because none of the presidential candidates could achieve 50 percentage points of votes.

The ongoing presidential election in Turkey has been widely described as one of the most consequential in the country’s modern history. This is because it comes shortly after a devastating earthquake that left a trail of over 50,000 dead in the country and extended its currency plunge against the dollar.

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