8 killed in local election clashes as Turkey splits over rival parties — video included
Published time: March 30, 2014 11:52
Edited time: March 30, 2014 20:10
At least eight people have been killed in clashes between rival groups in Turkey’s municipal elections, media reports say. Tensions soared at the polls that will decide the distribution of power between the country’s two major parties.
Two people have been killed and nine more injured in the southern Turkish province of Hatay after a fight broke out between two rival candidates for village headman (muhtar), Hurriyet reports.
In the southeastern province of Sanliurfa, six people have been killed in a similar incident in Hilvan district and several more have been seriously injured, security sources said.
Al Arabiya reported that the incidents involved gunfire from both sides, supporting either candidates for Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan or his rival Fethullah Gulen. Whole families have reportedly been involved in some of the gun battles.
Preliminary results of the votes in different regions of Turkey started emerging hours before the time of the official announcement. State agency Anadolu and pro-opposition agency Cihan showed conflicting figures.
While Anadolu said that the ruling AKP party candidates lead with a 10 percent margin nationwide, Cihan reported that in key cities of Istanbul and Ankara Gulen’s CHP party was either leading or going second with a small margin.
[related: Turkey: It is Time to Prove Your Sovereignty]