Turkey’s most populous city votes again in mayoral elections after allegations of fraud marred an initial vote in March.
The re-run began on Sunday at 8 a.m. local time (05:00 GMT) and will end at 5 p.m. Results will be available later in the evening.
More than 10 million people are eligible to cast their ballots.
The first vote was narrowly won by the candidate of opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Ekrem Imamoglu, a former district mayor.
He came first by winning only 13,000 votes more than the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party’s hopeful Binali Yildirim, a former prime minister.
The country’s High Election Board, however, invalidated the result in May, citing irregularities.
The president, who himself used to run the city in the 1990s, has described the Istanbul vote as “only a change in the shop window” since his party already runs almost two-thirds of the city’s districts.
In order to make up for the narrow margin by which it fell behind during the March vote, the party has launched an appeal to the city’s Kurdish population, which make up about 15% of its voters.
Oversight is, meanwhile, tight over the vote in the city of 15 million, which has historically been the mainstay of Turkey’s economy.
According to Reuters, the opposition has mandated a large number of lawyers to monitor the electoral process, with the Istanbul Bar Association unfurling a huge banner at their headquarters that reads, “Stand guard for democracy.”