Saudi Press

Saudi Arabia and the world
Wednesday, Jun 19, 2024

Turkey's President Erdogan back on campaign trail after illness

Turkey's President Erdogan back on campaign trail after illness

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reappeared on the campaign trail in western Turkey on Saturday in the flesh, and in thundering form.

He arrived in the port city of Izmir to a sea of flags, and a large crowd that had been waiting hours under a hot sun. It was a strong turnout in an opposition stronghold.

There was no sign of the illness which caused him to drop out of key events for three days this week - just a fortnight ahead of critical elections. The polls - for the presidency and parliament - will be his toughest challenge yet, after twenty years in power.

The president spoke for almost 40 minutes, in a strong voice, mocking the opposition, raising the spectre of "terrorism", and saying only he could deliver growth for Turkey. It was a combative performance which will have reassured his supporters and may have worried his detractors.

And it was vintage Erdogan.

Many women were present at the rally, which was segregated


His main rival for the presidency, Kemal Kilicdaroglu - a secular candidate backed by an alliance of six parties - will hold a rally in the same spot on Sunday. Opinion polls give a slight lead to Mr Kilicdaroglu - a softly spoken former civil servant - but the election could well be a photo finish.

The Turkish leader, who is 69, startled TV viewers on Tuesday night when he became unwell during a live broadcast, which had to be halted. He blamed it on a stomach bug.

"When I heard the news about his health, I asked God to give me his illness," said Gurbet Dostum, a 42-year-old Mother of two. "I am ready to be in pain for him. He gives us everything."

But many here have less and less, due to rampant inflation which is officially around 50%. Experts have blamed the President's unorthodox economic policies, but not Gurbet. She said those who complained were "greedy and ungrateful and just wanted more and more".

Like many women at the rally - which was segregated - she was wearing a headscarf. The president's bedrock is religious conservatives, but there were secular supporters there too.

"He changed the country," said Guldana, a 57-year-old with a diamond in her tooth. "Before him Turkey was a village."

Religious conservatives are the bedrock of Erdogan's support - but there were secular supporters in the crowd too


An unemployed young woman called Ayse said she would vote for Erdogan for love of her country. "He will make us rise, and get stronger," she said.

Those who back the president want him to extend his long rule and continue with his vision for Turkey. Many Turks want just the opposite. The electorate - like the country - is divided.

Some of those who had waited hours for the president to arrive drifted away while he was still speaking.

Newsletter

Related Articles

Saudi Press
0:00
0:00
Close
Iran Sentences Nobel Laureate Narges Mohammadi to 1-Year Prison Term for Propaganda
Good day, everyone! We've got a lively mix of stories today, from financial recoveries and international sanctions to...
Giorgia Meloni Comments on Israel's Conflict and EU's Stand on Ukraine Loan
Israel Plans Tactical Pause For Aid Deliveries in South Gaza
Giorgia Meloni Comments on Israel's Conflict and EU's Stand on Ukraine Loan
Over 1.5 Million Pilgrims Arrive in Mina for Hajj
Japan Considers Sanctions on UAE-Based Entities for Aiding Russia
Global Headlines: Pope’s Plea on AI, Tensions in Ukraine, and Japan’s Sanction Strategy
Houthi Missile Attack Severely Injures Sailor on Cargo Ship
Iran Expands Nuclear Capabilities: IAEA Report
Saudi Hospitality Sector to Grow by 7.5% Annually Until 2028
Ceer and Hyundai Transys Sign $2 Billion Deal for EV Drive Systems
Israel Rescues Four Hostages from Gaza
Turkish Student Arrested for Using AI to Cheat in University Exam
Saudi Arabia Dominates Global Construction with $1.5 Trillion Pipeline
Fortis Expands Fintech Solutions to Saudi Arabia's SME Sector
Saudi Arabia's Industry 4.0 Initiative and Vision 2030
Saudi Arabia's Booming Automotive Market
"Saudi Stock Market Recap: Tadawul Dips While Nomu Surges"
"Saudi Arabia's Economic Growth Soars: Gross Fixed Capital Formation Surges by 7.9%"
"Saudi Arabia Tops Global Mining Investment Rankings: A New Era of Mineral Prosperity"
"Saudi Arabia's Record-Breaking Year in Travel & Tourism: A Global Tourism Hotspot in the Making"
Saudi Foreign Minister Attends BRICS Ministerial Meeting in Russia
"Saudi Arabia's New Workplace Safety Measures: A Summer of Shade for Private Sector Workers"
"King Salman Welcomes Over 2,300 Pilgrims for Hajj, Including 1,000 Palestinians"
"A Miraculous Birth at the Heart of the Hajj: A Nigerian Pilgrim Gives Birth in Makkah"
"Camel Culture: A Comparative Study Across Three Countries"
"Oil Prices on the Rise: Goldman Sachs Predicts a Third-Quarter Surge"
"Saudi Arabia's Finance Sector Thrives: A 13% Asset Surge in 2023"
Egypt's Inflation Rate Drops Surprisingly in May
"Saudi Aramco Remains Top Company in Forbes Middle East's Top 100 List for 2024"
"Saudi Arabia's Maritime Sector Soars: A 8.09% Increase in Cargo Handling"
"Qatar's Export Growth Soars in Q1 2024: A 6% Increase in Private Sector Exports"
"Saudi Arabia Achieves Tourism Milestones: A Giant Leap Towards Global Leadership"
"Saudi Arabia's Mining Sector Soars: A New Industrial Pillar"
"Saudi Arabia's Industrial Growth: A Boost in Manufacturing and Mining Sectors"
"Indonesia Launches TB Vaccine Trials to Combat Soaring Cases and Boost Economic Growth"
Tragic Attack in Indian-Controlled Kashmir: Nine Killed, Thirty-Three Injured
"India's Record-Breaking Heatwave: A Warning from the Weather Experts"
"Urgent Update: Devastating Floods and Landslides in Northern Vietnam"
"IOC President Assures Unwavering Support for Paris 2024 Amidst French Political Upheaval"
"Breaking News: Paris Chanel Store Ram-Raid and Fire"
"Ukraine's Reconstruction Chief Resigns: A Decade of Service and Frustration"
Tragic Attack in Yargoje, Nigeria: Over 50 Lives Lost and Many Kidnapped
"Violent Clash in Central Somalia: 55 Dead and 155 Injured"
Urgent Appeal for Peaceful Dialogue: Australia's Prime Minister Addresses Israel-Palestine Tensions
"Revival in Mosul's Old City: A Journey from Daesh's Stronghold to Cultural Renaissance"
"U.S. Secretary of State Blinken Pursues Ceasefire in Gaza"
"UAE Cracks Down on Unwanted Cold Calls: New Regulations Announced"
Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan Meets Hamas Leader Ismail Haniyeh at GCC High-Level Strategic Dialogue in Doha
×