"The incident in Malatya is very distressing. We should not allow this. As the president, I am very saddened over citizens' deaths. We cannot allow the struggle between the parties to reach this point. Now the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the prosecutor's office are conducting investigations. I express my condolences to the relatives of the victims," Erdogan told reporters after casting his ballot.
Earlier in the day, local media reported that two people were killed and three others were injured as a result of armed scuffles during the voting at the municipal elections in the Turkish provinces of Malatya and Diyarbakir in country's east. The scuffles erupted between the candidates for the post of village administrators.
Citizens have already been lining up at polling stations in Istanbul to vote in #Turkey local elections. Particularly senior voters have showed up at polling stations early. #TurkeyElections #TurkeyVotes @AJEnglish pic.twitter.com/5VSLxY9WHG— Umut Uras (@Um_Uras) March 31, 2019
Turkish voters cast ballots on Sunday to elect mayors of cities, provincial capitals and municipal districts, as well as local assembly representatives and village administrators.
Candidates from 12 political parties are running in the elections, including the opposition Nation Alliance led by the Republican People's Party (CHP), and the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP), in alliance with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
The president expressed hope that the municipal elections in Turkey will be held at a high turnout and will make a great contribution to the country's future.