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Countdown to verdict on Erdogan as Turkey holds local elections

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Countdown to verdict on Erdogan as Turkey holds local elections


Although he is not standing in Sunday’s local elections, Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan looms over the poll and is a divisive figure.

An ongoing corruption scandal has engulfed Erdogan’s government and local elections are a chance for voters to show they want change from Erdogan and his centre-right AK Party.

Opposition parties are popular with those who favour a more secular Turkey, rather than the Islamism that has crept into Turkish politics under Erdogan.

One such person is an Istanbul resident who said: “I am concerned about our future. A conservative woman and a modern woman view each other in a hostile way. These are our experiences on the streets. Unfortunately, the person who did this is Erdogan. Before him, we didn’t have problems like this. But now we have serious concerns and fears about the future.”

With Turkey’s first-ever direct presidential election in August and parliamentary elections next year, Sunday’s local polls are being seen as a referendum on Erdogan’s leadership.

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