- Posted March 16, 2014 by
Turkey Erdogan Assembles Thousands for Election Meeting
Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan of AKP today had one of the biggest election meetings take place in the city of Izmir.
This western city is known for the opposition to the government and currently is held by the CHP (People's Republican Party). It is therefore extremely important for the Prime Minister to win the upcoming March 30 Elections here. While this might be a difficult proposition for Erdogan he succeeded assembling close to 75,000 people for his fiery and stinging speech. However he did this by hiring thousands of buses, minibuses and boats to bring his followers and non followers by paying them about 50TL plus rations for the trip from nearby cities and towns.
He again blamed the opposition for conspiring with the US cleric Gulen for his troubles for the graft and bribery allegations. While non Izmir residents were listening to him, the real residents of Izmir held protests on nearby streets only to be blocked by heavy police presence. At certain times the shouting turned into skirmishes between rival groups and police had to intervene to prevent things from becoming out of control.
It has become a daily ritual to listen to all the leaked telephone conversations incriminating him and his ministers and businessman. However majority of his followers do not seem to be affected by all this corruption talk as they are mostly non Internet users and only read media approved by the government. The upcoming March 30 Elections will be a real test of confidence for the Prime Minister's government and could change the political power balances in the near future.