The AK Party of Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan has taken an early lead in local elections, reports say.

The polls are being seen as a key test for Mr Erdogan ahead of presidential elections in August and parliamentary elections next year.

It is the first vote since mass protests last June, and subsequent government corruption scandals.

Mr Erdogan is not standing but has campaigned tirelessly in support of his Justice and Development Party (AKP).

With more than 10% of the votes counted, TV channels reported the AKP was polling at between 43-49%.

The party has been aiming to equal or better its 38.8% share of the vote in 2009.

Voting in the local assembly and mayoral elections passed off peacefully in most areas, but eight people were reportedly killed in two separate incidents involving supporters of rival candidates.

Feuding families were said to have clashed in the southern city of Hatay and the eastern province of Sanliurfa… see more

source: bbc