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Does Erdogan believe he's on a mission from God?

Increasingly cornered and isolated both at home and abroad, Turkey's president is seeking to boost his public support by placing God directly at the center of his Islamist oratory.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan adjusts his sunglasses before a wreath-laying ceremony at the Jose Marti monument in Havana February 11, 2015. Erdogan is in Cuba for an official visit. REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa (CUBA - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR4P6U8

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is stepping up his rhetoric to convince his Justice and Development Party (AKP) voters that their leader is closer to God than they are.

During his term as prime minister, Erdogan used to make long speeches at weekly AKP parliamentary meetings, which most television channels broadcast live. After he ascended to the presidency, his audience of AKP lawmakers was replaced by mukhtars, elected leaders of villages and neighborhoods, of which there are 53,000 in Turkey. At certain intervals now, he invites several hundred selected mukhtars to the presidential palace for his speeches, again, broadcast live by almost all television channels.

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