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Turkey: Popularity test for embattled Erdogan in local elections

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Turkey: Popularity test for embattled Erdogan in local elections


He is better known for his thunderous tones.

But campaigning for Sunday’s local elections has taken its toll on Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

After his falsetto delivery on Thursday drew ridicule from detractors, he did not take part in the ruling AK Party’s closing rallies.

He may have lost his voice but Erdogan’s party looks set to win at the polls against Kemal Kilicdaroglu’s main opposition Republican People’s Party.

And this, despite a corruption scandal, leaked recordings and controversial social media bans.

But not everyone supports Erdogan. Victory for his ruling party would mean a fearful and intimidating future according to Istanbul resident Cihan Kurnaz.

Fellow Istanbul dweller Ahmet Oz, however, disagreed, saying that
Erdogan’s Islamist-rooted party is the best choice, for peace and stability.

“There is no alternative,” he said.

These local elections will be the first real test of the prime minister’s popularity since last summer’s anti-government protests.

His AK Party is tipped to win but some polls indicate a close race in the key battlefields of Istanbul, where Erdogan was once mayor, and the capital Ankara.

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