Turkish Military Retaliates as its Soldier Killed in Syria Mortar Attack - MoD

Bi-Partisan US Senators Introduce Bill to Stop F-35 Fighter Jet Sales to Turkey

Turkey's main opposition party appeared on course to seize control of Ankara in Sunday's local elections, defeating President Tayyip Erdogan's AK Party in the capital for the first time since he came to power 16 years ago.

Four U.S. senators on March 28 introduced a bipartisan bill to prohibit the transfer of F-35s to Turkey until the U.S. government certifies that Ankara will not take delivery of the S-400 system.

In Istanbul, AKP candidate and former prime minister Binali Yildirim had 48.8 percent of votes, just 0.2 percentage points ahead of his CHP rival, after 98 percent of ballot boxes were opened, broadcaster NTV said.

Attention is focusing on the outcome of the election in Istanbul. Media reports said one person had been detained.

In Diyarbakir, two people were hurt, one of them critically, after being stabbed in a dispute between candidates, a hospital source said.

The voting was marred by scattered election violence that killed at least two people and injured dozens of others across Turkey.

Two people are also injured in Istanbul's Kadikoy district in a fight between relatives of candidates running for neighbourhood administration posts.

The main, secular-oriented opposition party has 30.5 per cent.

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That win "was a springboard for him to go on and dominate Turkish politics", said DW's Turkey correspondent, Dorian Jones.

Erdogan's Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its junior ally, the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), compete as "the People's Alliance" against the secular Republican People's Party (CHP) that has formed the "the Nation's Alliance" with the ultranationalist IYI Party and Islamist Felicity Party.

State broadcaster TRT says Erdogan's conservative Islamic-based party has garnered almost 47.5 percent of the votes with about 35 percent of the more than 194,000 ballot boxes counted.

"I voted for the AKP for continuity and so that their services continue", the homemaker said. However, it strategically sat out critical mayoral races in major cities, including Istanbul and Ankara, with the aim of sending votes to a rival secular opposition party to help challenge Erdogan's party.

Looking to galvanise his base among conservative Turks, the president cast the election as a matter of survival, attacking opposition candidates by branding them as linked to PKK Kurdish militants.

Voters on Sunday elected scores of mayors, municipal councils and other local officials.

Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, head of U.S. European Command, told Congress this month he would recommend that the United States withhold the delivery of the jet if Turkey buys the Russian system.

With reference to Erdogan, Kilicdaroglu said: "If there is a survival issue in Turkey, it's because of you".

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