Erdogan Reuters

Turkish Presiden Recep Tayyip Erdogan has taken an early lead in the presidential election.

With 42% of the vote counted, Erdogan leads his closest opponent, secular leader Muharem Ince, by 57% to 28%.

Ince seeks to prevent Erdogan from winning over 50% of the vote in the first round, thereby forcing a second round where his rule could be challenged.

After the polls closed, Ince said that he expected the results to be "very good." However, he also called on Turkish citizens to guard the polling stations to prevent acts of voter fraud by Erdogan's Justice and Development (AKP) party.

The new powers given to the president under the new constitution which was narrowly adopted last year will begin to be implemented following today's election.

Turkey also held a parliamentary election today. With 20% of the votes counted the AKP party has 49.5% of the vote, while its partner, the Nationalist Movement Party, received 12.74%. The main opposition party, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), received 16% of the vote so far.

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