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Secular candidate hopes to push Erdogan into Turkish presidential runoff

While some Turks see Erdogan as vulnerable, others only have hopes that his party can be denied a parliamentary majority.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan gestures at his ruling AK Party's Istanbul congress, Turkey May 6, 2018. REUTERS/Osman Orsal - RC1E3428B110

Election fever is well and truly enveloping Turkey as an eclectic set of presidential contenders fight to woo voters in the run-up to the snap June 24 polls, amid a weakening economy, renewed conflict with Kurds and mounting tensions with the country’s Western allies. Despite a playing field stacked heavily in favor of incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, there are emerging signs that it won’t be all plain sailing for Turkey’s strongman.

At a rally organized by his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Istanbul on Sunday, Erdogan unveiled his campaign manifesto in a speech peppered with references to Turkey’s Ottoman glory days and vows to catapult the country to ever loftier heights. He pledged to curb rising inflation, interest rates and the gaping current account deficit, making it sound as if Turkey’s economic woes were all the opposition’s making, even though the AKP has governed alone for the past 16 years

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