Turks go the polls on Sunday in local elections seen as a test for the popularity of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Some 52 million registered voters will elect mayors and other officials in cities across the country, with six major parties participating.

The largest opposition party is the centrist Republican People’s Party (CHP), which is fiercely contesting against the conservative AKP in the capital, Ankara and the largest city, Istanbul.

AKP wants to repeat its performance in the 2009 local elections and garner at least 38 per cent of the vote. Most polls indicate it would meet that goal.

Mr. Erdogan’s party is facing corruption scandals. Audio leaks have portrayed corruption at high levels and authoritarianism within government. The recordings cannot be independently verified.

The government blocked access to YouTube and Twitter in the week leading up to the election, drawing international criticism.

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