BEIRUT

Middle East

Erdogan takes early lead in presidential race

An electoral officer shows an invalid ballot for the presidential election during a count of votes at a polling station in Istanbul, on August 10, 2014.(AFP/Ozan Kose)

ANKARA: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan took an early lead in the country's first direct presidential election Sunday, winning around 56 percent of the vote with 43 percent of ballots counted, Turkish television stations said.

The main opposition candidate, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, was on around 35 percent while Selahattin Demirtas of the pro-Kurdish left-wing People's Democratic Party was on around 8 percent, broadcasters CNN Turk and NTV said.

 

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