With the official results still to be announced, the Turkish opposition leader, Bulent Ecevit, and his Republican People's Party (R.
SV PAN Woman posts vote in village square (2 shots)
SV PAN Man puts vote in ballot box
GV EXT Polling station
GV INT People voting
GV EXT People waiting for opposition leader Bulent Ecevit to arrive
SCU INT Ecevit voting
SCU PAN Ecevit leaving through crowd
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Background: With the official results still to be announced, the Turkish opposition leader, Bulent Ecevit, and his Republican People's Party (R.P.P.) claimed victory in the country's general elections on Sunday (5 June). Mr. Ecevit and his party say they need four more seats to claim an absolute majority in the National Assembly.
SYNOPSIS: Despite overcast skies and showers over much of the country, polling officials in Ankara and Istanbul reported a better turnout than in the last elections in 1973. Large detachments of police and security forces were stationed near potential trouble-spots, but few incidents were reported.
The pre-election campaign was violent and bitter, but the election day itself was generally peaceful. While two people died and 24 were injured in political battles in central Turkey, the major cities remained calm. More than 110 people have died as a result of political violence in the past five months. The election was brought forward by four months because the current government was divided on what action to take to stop the deaths and to help the economy.
Mr. Ecevit, a former Prime Minister, has been gaining growing support despite the efforts of the ruling Justice Party led by the current Prime Minister, Suleyman Demirel. On Monday (6 June) it seemed likely the new government would be split between Mr. Ecevit's party and the right-of-centre groups that made up the former coalition government.
Mr. Demirel's Justice Party looked set to win more than 160 seats. And in a significant shift of power in the right-wing, the Nationalist Movement Party picked up seats apparently at the expense of the strongly Islamic Nationalist Salvation Party.