At least eight people have died and 30 others have been injured in assorted brawls and incidents between the supporters of different candidates in municipal elections being held Sunday in Turkey, media reports said.
Six people died in a brawl between supporters of candidates for the governing AKP and the pro-Kurdish BDP in the southeastern province of Sanliurfa, while in Hatay, also in the southeast, two other deaths were registered in another dispute among candidates' supporters.
Similar incidents have occurred in five other towns with a total of 30 people being injured, 14 of them seriously.
One of the incidents occurred in Kucukcayir, the birthplace of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, where a police officer was injured trying to separate two candidates.
Two other police officers were injured in another confrontation between supporters of the AKP and the BDP in Diyarbakir province.
Another incident took place in Istanbul, where two activists with the Femen protest network forced their way into the polling place where Erdogan normally casts his ballot and bared their chests on which was written the message "Ban Erdogan," before being arrested.
Both the opposition and the government have approached these elections as a kind of confidence vote on the administration and the Islamist prime minister, both having been tainted by accusations of corruption and growing authoritarianism.
Media reports are of a higher-than-normal voter turnout with long lines at polling places, and Erdogan himself declared after voting that participation was very high. EFE