Turkey’s prime minister has cast his vote as high-profile figures join millions of Turkish citizens going to the polls in the country’s 25th general election.

Ahmet Davutoglu voted in Konya, central Turkey – his home province – early on Sunday morning.

Voting began at 8.00 a.m. (0600GMT).

More than 53.7 million Turks are eligible to vote in a poll to elect 550 deputies to the Grand National Assembly.

Co-chair of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party, Selahattin Demirtas, also cast his vote in Istanbul.

Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan cast his vote at a polling station in Ankara. He told reporters: "In democratic systems, what the people says goes. Today the people will speak."

Energy Minister Taner Yildiz voted in central Kayseri province where he said he believed that “stability will be maintained” after the contest.

Meanwhile, Turkey's Chief of General Staff Necdet Ozel has cast his ballot in Ankara.

A total of 174,240 polling stations will be open until 5.00 p.m. local time (1500 GMT). Nearly a million Turks living abroad have already cast their ballots at 122 embassies and consulates.

The votes from 33 ballot stations at airports and border crossings will be collected when the polls close on Sunday.

Voters will be selecting a party, rather than a candidate, in 85 voting districts across the country under the closed list proportional representation system.

The election will be overseen by observers from civil society groups and political parties as well as international monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Council of Europe.

Of the 20 parties registered to contest the election, opinion polls suggest four parties could pass the 10 percent threshold to gain seats in the assembly.

The Justice and Development (AK) Party, which has been in government since 2002, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) are expected to take seats while pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) is aiming to enter parliament for the first time as a party.

Anadolu Agency