World Bulletin/News Desk
Turkey's parliament has given initial approval to a constitutional amendment bringing local elections forward by six months.
The amendment was approved late on Friday by 360 votes, just short of the two-thirds majority needed for it to pass without a second reading. It will be put to a referendum in 60 days if President Abdullah Gul does not return it for a second debate.
The polls to elect local mayors and heads of municipalities were originally scheduled for March 2014 and are the first in an electoral cycle which includes a presidential election a few months later and general elections in 2015.
The date of local elections will be Oct. 27, 2013, if a referendum or second debate approves the amendment.
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6 Turkish soldiers and 1 security guard are killed in counterterrorism operations
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German chancellor says troops will have to leave Turkish air base if Ankara continues to block visit of German lawmakers
Inauguration ceremony attended by host of Turkish, Sudanese officials and figures
Humanitarian aid for Somalia will be sent within two days, says Turkish Red Crescent head