World

Turks head to the polls for parliamentary election; shape of Turkish democracy at stake

  • A polling station official shows a ballot paper with the names of political parties participating in nationwide elections in a primary school in Ankara, Turkey, Sunday, June 7, 2015. Turkey is holding Sunday a general election and approximately 56 million Turkish voters are eligible to cast their ballots to elect 550 members of national parliament. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

    A polling station official shows a ballot paper with the names of political parties participating in nationwide elections in a primary school in Ankara, Turkey, Sunday, June 7, 2015. Turkey is holding Sunday a general election and approximately 56 million Turkish voters are eligible to cast their ballots to elect 550 members of national parliament. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)  (The Associated Press)

  • A man casts his vote at a polling station in a primary school in Ankara, Turkey, Sunday, June 7, 2015. Turkey is holding Sunday a general election and approximately 56 million Turkish voters are eligible to cast their ballots to elect 550 members of national parliament. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

    A man casts his vote at a polling station in a primary school in Ankara, Turkey, Sunday, June 7, 2015. Turkey is holding Sunday a general election and approximately 56 million Turkish voters are eligible to cast their ballots to elect 550 members of national parliament. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)  (The Associated Press)

  • Two women wait to cast their votes in Sultanbeyli district of Istanbul, Turkey, Sunday, June 7, 2015. Turkey is holding a general election on Sunday and approximately 56 million Turkish voters are eligible to cast their ballots to elect 550 members of national parliament. (AP Photo)

    Two women wait to cast their votes in Sultanbeyli district of Istanbul, Turkey, Sunday, June 7, 2015. Turkey is holding a general election on Sunday and approximately 56 million Turkish voters are eligible to cast their ballots to elect 550 members of national parliament. (AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

Turks are heading to the polls in a crucial parliamentary election that will determine whether ruling party lawmakers can rewrite the constitution to bolster the powers of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan himself is not on the ballot, but the election is effectively a referendum on whether to endow his office with extraordinary powers that would significantly change Turkish democracy.

Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, is expected to win significantly more votes Sunday than any opposition party. But AKP must win a supermajority of the 550 seats in parliament to change the constitution.

All eyes will be on the results for the main Kurdish party, HDP. If it crosses a 10 percent threshold for entering parliament as a party, that would extinguish AKP's constitutional plans.