Budapest Post

Cum Deo pro Patria et Libertate
Budapest, Europe and world news

Turkey's President Erdogan back on campaign trail after illness

Turkey's President Erdogan back on campaign trail after illness

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reappeared on the campaign trail in western Turkey on Saturday in the flesh, and in thundering form.

He arrived in the port city of Izmir to a sea of flags, and a large crowd that had been waiting hours under a hot sun. It was a strong turnout in an opposition stronghold.

There was no sign of the illness which caused him to drop out of key events for three days this week - just a fortnight ahead of critical elections. The polls - for the presidency and parliament - will be his toughest challenge yet, after twenty years in power.

The president spoke for almost 40 minutes, in a strong voice, mocking the opposition, raising the spectre of "terrorism", and saying only he could deliver growth for Turkey. It was a combative performance which will have reassured his supporters and may have worried his detractors.

And it was vintage Erdogan.

Many women were present at the rally, which was segregated

His main rival for the presidency, Kemal Kilicdaroglu - a secular candidate backed by an alliance of six parties - will hold a rally in the same spot on Sunday. Opinion polls give a slight lead to Mr Kilicdaroglu - a softly spoken former civil servant - but the election could well be a photo finish.

The Turkish leader, who is 69, startled TV viewers on Tuesday night when he became unwell during a live broadcast, which had to be halted. He blamed it on a stomach bug.

"When I heard the news about his health, I asked God to give me his illness," said Gurbet Dostum, a 42-year-old Mother of two. "I am ready to be in pain for him. He gives us everything."

But many here have less and less, due to rampant inflation which is officially around 50%. Experts have blamed the President's unorthodox economic policies, but not Gurbet. She said those who complained were "greedy and ungrateful and just wanted more and more".

Like many women at the rally - which was segregated - she was wearing a headscarf. The president's bedrock is religious conservatives, but there were secular supporters there too.

"He changed the country," said Guldana, a 57-year-old with a diamond in her tooth. "Before him Turkey was a village."

Religious conservatives are the bedrock of Erdogan's support - but there were secular supporters in the crowd too

An unemployed young woman called Ayse said she would vote for Erdogan for love of her country. "He will make us rise, and get stronger," she said.

Those who back the president want him to extend his long rule and continue with his vision for Turkey. Many Turks want just the opposite. The electorate - like the country - is divided.

Some of those who had waited hours for the president to arrive drifted away while he was still speaking.


Related Articles

Ukraine Arrests Father-Son Duo In Lockbit Cybercrime Bust
US Offers $15 Million For Info On Leaders Of Cybercrime Group Lockbit
Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
Alexei Navalny: UK sanctions Russian prison chiefs after activist's death
German economy is in 'troubled waters' - ministry
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
Tucker Carlson says Boris Johnson wants "a million dollars, in Bitcoin or cash, from Tucker Carlson to talk about Ukraine.
Russia is rebuilding capacity to destabilize European countries, new UK report warns
EU Commission wants anti-drone defenses at Brussels HQ
Von der Leyen’s 2nd-term pitch: More military might, less climate talk
EU Investigates TikTok for Child Safety Concerns
EU Launches Probe Into TikTok Over Child Protection Under Digital Content Law
EU and UK Announce Joint Effort on Migration
Ministers Confirm Proposal to Prohibit Mobile Phone Usage in English Schools
Avdiivka - Symbol Of Ukrainian Resistance Now In Control Of Russian Troops
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
Tucker Carlson grocery shopping in Russia. This is so interesting.
France and Germany Struggle to Align on European Defense Strategy
‘A lot higher than we expected’: Russian arms production worries Europe’s war planners
Greece Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage and Adoption Rights
Russia "Very Close" To Creating Cancer Vaccines, Says Vladimir Putin
Hungarian Foreign Minister: Europeans will lose Europe, the Union's policy must change drastically
Microsoft says it caught hackers from China, Russia and Iran using its AI tools
US Rejects Putin's Ceasefire Offer in Ukraine
The Dangers of Wildfire Smoke and Self-Protection Strategies
A Londoner has been arrested for expressing his Christian beliefs.
Chinese Women Favor AI Boyfriends Over Humans
Greece must address role in migrant vessel disaster that killed 600: Amnesty
Google pledges 25 million euros to boost AI skills in Europe
Hungarian President Katalin Novák Steps Down Amid Pardon Controversy
Activist crashes Hillary Clinton's speech, calls her a 'war criminal.'
In El Salvador, the 'Trump of Latin America' stuns the world with a speech slamming woke policing after winning a landslide election
Trudeau reacts to Putin's mention of Canadian Parliament applauding a former Ukrainian Nazi in his interview with Tucker Carlson.
The Spanish police blocked the farmers protest. So the farmers went out and moved the police car out of the way.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy fires top Ukraine army commander
Tucker Carlson's interview with Vladimir Putin raises EU concerns
Finnish Airline, Finnair, is voluntarily weighing passengers to better estimate flight cargo weight
Russia's Economy Expands by 3.6% Due to Increased Military Spending
Ukraine MPs Vote To Permit Use Of Dead Soldiers' Sperm
German Princess Becomes First Aristocrat To Pose Naked On Playboy Cover
UK’s King Charles III diagnosed with cancer
EU's Ursula von der Leyen Confronts Farmer Protests Amid Land Policy Debates
Distinguishing Between Harmful AI Media and Positive AI-Generated Content: A Crucial Challenge for the EU
Tucker Carlson explains why he interviewed Putin
Dutch farmers are still protesting in the Netherlands against the government, following the World Economic Forum's call for 'owning nothing.'
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stands up for European farmers and says, 'Brussels is suffocating European farmers.
This farmer seems to understand science a bit more than the event organizer, Klaus Schwab.
French farmers are not messing around.