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Erdogan is MENA’s most popular leader, Arab Barometer finds

Turkey's promotion of cultural heritage, including through its tourism and entertainment sectors, is one reason for Erdogan's popularity. However, the perception of the Ottoman legacy is gradually shifting from one of praise to one of condemnation toward Turkish policies.
In this handout picture released by the Turkish presidential press office, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C) and invited guests attend Friday prayers at Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque during the building's first official prayers after being reconverted into a mosque on July 24, 2020, in Istanbul, Turkey.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan remains MENA's most popular leader, according to new survey data released by the Arab Barometer this week to Al-Monitor.

In an email to Al-Monitor, Abdul-Wahab Kayyali, senior research specialist at the public opinion research network, explained that Erdogan’s popularity among surveyed countries can be explained across several reasons including Turkey’s electoral legitimacy, increasing accessibility and Erdogan’s revival of the Ottoman heritage.

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