Recep Tayyip Erdogan is in first place with 56 percent, as nearly three fourths of eligible voters turn out to choose Turkey’s first directly elected president.
With nearly 93 percent of the votes counted, Erdogan leads as Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, former Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, has gained more than 33 percent. Selahattin Demirtas, the head of the leftist pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party, is in third place with just over 11 percent.
The presidential election, sandwiched between the local polls back in March and the upcoming general elections in June 2015, is the first ever to be decided by popular vote.
It is widely seen as a referendum on the leadership of Prime Minister Erdogan, standing for the ruling Justice and Development Party.