ANKARA (Reuters) – Ismail Akin has voted for Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s party for almost 20 years, but the father of three said that will change on Sunday because the plunging economy has forced him to shut his shop and take on debt.
In a market in the Turkish capital last week, Akin clutched his jacket and said “even this is mortgaged” after the economy tipped into recession following last year’s currency crisis.
Man - Erdogan - Years - Back - Hand
“We voted for this man (Erdogan) for 20 years. Enough. Let’s hit him with the back of our hand so he sees what this nation is made of,” Akin said.
He said he would vote for the main opposition candidate in Sunday’s local elections.
Polls - Erdogan - Ankara - City - Turkey
Polls suggest Erdogan could be defeated in Ankara, the city from which he has ruled Turkey with an increasingly iron grip since 2003. His AK Party (AKP) could hang on to power in a tight race in Istanbul, where he was once mayor, but a defeat in Ankara would be a blow.
“The psychological factor of losing the capital, losing one of the big cities in Turkey, could be perceived by voters as the beginning of the decline,” said political analyst Murat Yetkin.
Elections - Year - Currency - Meltdown - Authorities
The nationwide local elections are the first since last year’s currency meltdown, and come as authorities fight a fresh wave of selling in the lira.
The currency has bounced back this week, in part because Turkey directed its banks to withhold lira liquidity in London, a key overseas market, until after Sunday’s election – blocking foreign investors from betting against the currency.
Measure - Erdogan - Embarrassment - Currency - Meltdown
The stop-gap measure may save Erdogan the embarrassment of a currency meltdown on the eve of voting but economists say that longer-lasting reforms are needed to return to the strong growth which was a hallmark of the AKP’s early years in power.
AKP officials say they are...
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