Sunday’s presidential and parliamentary ballot will pass judgement on Turkey’s longest-serving leader and the social transformation spearheaded by his party, AFP reported.
The vote is Turkey’s most consequential in generations and the toughest of the 69-year-old’s tectonic career.
Polls show Erdogan locked in a tight battle with secular rival Kemal Kilicdaroglu and his powerful alliance of six parties that span Turkey’s cultural and political divide.
The first votes were cast by Turks who moved from poorer provinces to Western Europe over the decades under job schemes aimed at combating the continent’s labour shortage in the wake of World War II.
Such voters comprise 3.4 million of Turkey’s 64.1 million registered electorate and tend to support more conservative candidates.
Official turnout on the morning of the last day of overseas voting on Tuesday was reported at 51 percent – a touch lower than in past elections and a possible sign of worry for Erdogan.
The vote has been accompanied by spates of violence that reflect the anger running through Turkey’s polarised society during its deepest economic crisis since the 1990s.
Dutch police said on Sunday they had to break up a “massive brawl involving some 300 people” at a polling station in Amsterdam.
Police in the French city of Marseille used tear gas to stop a similar fight between Erdogan’s supporters and opponents last week.