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.