Preliminary results from Turkey's presidential election on Sunday showed Tayyip Erdogan ahead with 59.47% compared to opposition rival Kemal Kilicdaroglu with 34.79%, though pollsters expected the gap to narrow in the tight contest.
HaberTurk and other Turkish broadcasters said the results, given less than two hours after polling stations closed, were based on 9.1% of the ballot boxes counted.
The head of Turkey's High Election Board earlier lifted a publication ban and said to wait until it announces official tentative results later.
Pre-election polls had given the edge to Kilicdaroglu, who pledges to roll back much of Erdogan's two-decade legacy.
“I see these elections as a choice between democracy and dictatorship,” said Ahmet Kalkan, 64, as he voted in Istanbul.
Erdogan, 69 and a veteran of a dozen election victories, says he respects democracy and denies being a dictator. Illustrating how the president still commands support, Mehmet Akif Kahraman, also voting in Istanbul, said Erdogan still represented the future even after two decades in power.