Municipal elections are scheduled in Turkey on Sunday, March 31, with 67 of 81 cities slated to participate in the polls. Candidates are running under two competing alliances, the People's Alliance - composed of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) - or the opposition Nation's Alliance - led by the Republican People's Party (CHP) and Good Party (İyi Party).
A large political rally was organized by the People's Alliance at the Ataturk Cultural Center in Ankara on Saturday, March 23, which reportedly drew tens of thousands of people. Further related rallies and demonstrations are possible in the coming days across the country.
A heightened security presence is to be expected at polling stations, public gathering places, and major transportation hubs through the electoral period. While elections are expected to pass off peacefully, incidents of political unrest are possible. Localized traffic disruptions are to be expected on election day as well as surrounding any demonstrations or rallies in the coming week.
Individuals in Turkey are advised to monitor local developments, refrain from discussing domestic political affairs in public (including on social media), avoid all gatherings related to the March 31 elections, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
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