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Feature: Turks ready for Sunday's parliamentary elections
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09:52, July 21, 2007

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Murat Ozturk, along with his wife and two daughters, cut short their holidays and returned home at Cankaya district in the Turkish capital on Friday afternoon, two days ahead of the parliamentary general elections.

Like Murat Ozturk, tens of thousands of Turks hastily wrapped up their vacations outside Ankara in a bid to cast ballots to their favorite candidates in the elections.

The Turkish Bus Fleet Federation (TOFED) predicted that besides people who return home by private car, or by plane, buses would carry 11 million voters in just four days before the elections.

"Buses will go without passengers but return full," said Chairman of the TOFED Mustafa Yildirim, adding that the day after the elections buses will return empty but will leave full of passengers.

Ankara, the political, administrative and diplomatic center of the country, was decorated with large pictures of candidates pinned on the wall along the streets as well as colorful waving banners, flags, air balloons and slogans.

But Turkey''s tourist resorts witness a "cold" summer this year with a drop of almost 50 percent in booking since the elections, previously scheduled in November, was brought forward on July 22.

More than 42.5 million registered voters out of about a 70- million population will cast votes at nearly 16 million ballot boxes in 85 electoral zones all over the country to send their representatives to the 550-seat parliament on Sunday.

In Ankara, more than 2.9 million voters would cast their ballots for 29 election candidates in the capital. While Istanbul, Turkey''s largest city and main commercial hub, has 7.4 million voters who will decide on 70 seats.

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