In first vote since Turkey's crisis, Erdogan could lose capital city

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 28, 2019 - Duration: 01:44s

In first vote since Turkey's crisis, Erdogan could lose capital city

Polls suggest Turkish President Erdogan could be defeated in Ankara, the city from which he has ruled with an increasingly iron grip since 2003, in this weekend's local elections.

As David Pollard reports, many voters feel bitter about deteriorating living standards amid Turkey's recent economic problems.

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In first vote since Turkey's crisis, Erdogan could lose capital city

Autocrat, national saviour.

The Turkish electorate's divided view of President Erdogan is put to the test in local elections.

And nowhere more so than in his home base - the capital, Ankara.

In nearly two decades, he and his AK Party haven't lost there.

Many believe that could be about to change.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) POLITICAL ANALYST, MURAT YETKIN, SAYING: "The psychological factor of losing the capital, losing one of the big cities in Turkey, could be perceived by voters as the beginning of the decline.

That's why he is a bit worried.

Not a bit worried actually, quite worried." Just as worried, perhaps, as voters, about the economy.

Father of three Ismail told Reuters there were no factories, no farms left, even his jacket, he says, is mortgaged to the banks.

While overshadowing local markets is inflation.

In February, running at just under 20 percent.

WOMAN WALKING TO FISH STALL AND SAYING (Turkish): "I want to have fish but look, it costs 30 lira.

We can't afford it." Erdogan himself says the culprit is interest rates.

If the central banks lower them, price pressures will come down too, he argues.

Though investors argue otherwise.

They see last year's flight from the Turkish lira, and its 25 per cent slump in value, as symptomatic of an economy in crisis.

Many might even bet against the currency now, if they could.

Turkey has directed banks to curb lira liquidity until after Sunday's vote to block investors from doing exactly that.

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