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ALM Feature

Turkey heads to local elections amid voter apathy, unclarity for Erdogan

Melting purchasing power in Turkey looms large over the upcoming local elections.

ANKARA — An eerie silence hangs over a makeshift outdoor market in the Ankara suburb of Kecioren. Just a handful of shoppers navigate through stalls stacked with fruits and vegetables, creating a riot of colors.

“It has been like this for the past few months,” said one vendor. “With the arrival of Ramadan, the business dried up almost completely,” he added, referencing the changing rhythm of life during the Islamic holy month when the pious, fasting from dusk to dawn, refrain from unnecessary demanding activity.

“I cannot buy fruit for my children,” said Dondu, a housewife and mother of two who asked that her last name not be disclosed. “There is a new hike for the greens every week. … It’s become impossible to get by on my husband's salary," she said. “We have to rely on credit cards in order to survive.”

In a district where Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lived for 12 years as the country’s prime minister until 2014, the complaints hardly bode well for the country’s leader and his ruling party’s prospects ahead of nationwide local elections on Sunday.

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