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Turkish parties large-handed in election pledges

The election pledges of Turkish parties strain the limits of both the imagination and the budget.
Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan makes his speech during a rally against recent Kurdish militant attacks on Turkish security forces in Istanbul, Turkey, September 20, 2015. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu attended the rally with the slogan "millions of people with a single voice against terror" at central Istanbul. REUTERS/Murad Sezer  TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTS20OA

Economic pledges stand out in the election manifestos that Turkey’s political parties have announced ahead of the Nov. 1 snap polls, called after the June 7 elections produced a political deadlock. Targeting a wide range of social groups — retirees, minimum-wage earners, farmers, women, the young, the jobless and the indebted — the promises strain both the imagination and the limits of the country’s budget.

Representing two bulky vote reservoirs, the 11 million retirees and 5 million minimum-wage earners are accorded special attention. Unlike the June 7 polls, when only the opposition made pledges to these two groups, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is in play this time.

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