World Bulletin/News Desk
Turkey's Parliament Speaker Cemil Cicek and his family cast their votes in the Golbasi district of Ankara on Sunday, an Anadolu Agency correspondent reported.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency about the local elections, Cicek said, "Of course, there will be a winner and a loser in this election, but the real winner is democracy and our nation."
Cicek added that the recent political tensions, which have engulfed country, will dissipate following confirmation of the election results on March 31,"Turkey needs peace and fraternity," he continued.
The Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz voted in the Yenimahalle district of Ankara. Speaking to press members, he said "I hope the March 30 polls will contribute to Turkey's political stability, development and growth."
Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay cast his vote in the Emek district of Ankara and told an Anadolu Agency correspondent that the election is important for Turkey and the voter turnout seems high.
Elsewhere Deputy Prime Minister Emrullah Isler voted in Ankara’s Etlik district. After casting his vote Isler speaking to the press said “The politicians are quiet, now it is time for the nation to speak in the name of democracy.”
Interior Minister Efkan Ala cast his vote in the Cankaya district of Ankara and told the press that the Turkish citizens have long-time experience in voting as “elections are the principles of democracy”.
Meanwhile, casting his vote in Istanbul`s neighbor Kocaeli province, Fikri Isik, the minister of transportation stressed the importance of ballot boxes and the role of the people in determining the results.
"That everyone accepts the results of these elections is an issue of the belief in democracy," said Isik, adding he believed people would go to polls in freedom, privacy and peace and that there would be a big turnout.
Another official, Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz, voted in Turkey’s central Anatolian province of Sivas wishing that the elections bring comfort to a troublesome period in the country.
"Time for nation to share its opinion"
Turkey's President Abdullah Gul said politicians have made their appeals to voters and Sunday's election is the nation's chance to express its opinion.
Gul cast his own vote at Ankara's Cankaya Elementary School, where the couple spoke to citizens and the President addressed reporters, along with his wife Hayrunnisa Gul.
He said everyone would honor the will of people emerging from polls and all of us should return to our normal life as of Monday.
“All of us know it was a bitter campaign and I believe we should leave it behind us now. All of our citizens should trust that we have a big and strong state," he said. "Our problems and hardships will be solved within the laws and bounds of our constitution so that Turkey strongly continues on its way.”
"Everyone should set aside their affiliations for the sake of national and state interests. Today we are living one of the most beautiful days of multi-party system democracy,” said Gul.
When asked whether election day still excites him after all his years in politics Gul said: “Elections excite everyone. Pluralism is an important and fundamental principle of democracy. At the end of the day it is important what people and the nation say in the elections. Turkey has been conducting elections since 1946 while uncontroversial elections have been held since 1950. All of us should be proud of that. I hope everyone would accept the results with great respect and maturity.”
Last Mod: 30 Mart 2014, 18:09