Destinations Magazine

Turkey’s Election: Tyrant Or Steadying Hand?

By Stizzard
Turkey’s election: Tyrant or steadying hand?

ON A rainy Sunday evening Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was delivering a fiery speech full of references to the glories of Islam and Turkey’s Ottoman past when a woman on a stretcher was lifted to the podium. He knelt down, took her hand and offered comfort. “Allahu akbar [Allah is great],” she screamed. A sea of supporters, waving Palestinian and Turkish flags, went wild. These scenes at a recent rally in Istanbul have been repeated across Turkey as Mr Erdogan campaigns to become the country’s first popularly elected president.Few doubt that Mr Erdogan will achieve his goal in a first round of balloting on August 10th. Opinion polls suggest that if turnout is below 80%, he will win up to 55% of the vote and a run-off scheduled on August 24th will be unnecessary. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, a former secretary-general of the Jeddah-based Islamic Co-operation Organisation—who was fielded jointly by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalists in the hope that he would draw pious voters from Mr Erdogan—is trailing at around 38%. Selahattin Demirtas, the Kurds’ candidate, whose youthful good looks, sharp…

The Economist: Europe


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