As campaigning ends ahead of Turkey’s general election, personal attacks are being stepped up. The prime minister is under pressure over his eldest son’s income. The 28-year-old recently bought a cargo ship for one and a half million euros. But the row does not seem to have taken a toll on Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Opinion polls indicate his centre-right AK Party could win 40 percent of Sunday’s vote.
The leader of the staunchly secular main opposition, the CHP, has been stirring the freighter controversy. Deniz Baykal has also tried to depict his AK rivals as bent on undermining Turkey’s secular system of government – something the premier denies.
To enter parliament, a party needs to meet a 10 percent threshold of ballots cast nationally. Third in voter surveys, the far-right Nationalist Movement Party looks on the borderline of doing that. The election was called early amid a political crisis pitting the ruling Islamist-rooted AK Party against Turkey’s secular elite.