Turkey’s prime minister banned Twitter, but these images show he can still muster huge crowds


People hold up a portrait of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a rally in Istanbul on Sunday. (Reuters)

In advance of Turkey's scheduled municipal elections on Sunday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been out campaigning. He's been battling corruption allegations and protests and, most recently, an outcry Friday over a ban on Twitter. The Twitter shutdown appeared to be a response to the spread of leaked information related to a scandal that saw the arrests of dozens of high-profile people linked to his party.

Despite this, his mildly Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) still looks likely to win in the trio of elections that start this weekend. And Erdogan seems to be counting on it -- he said earlier this month that he'd step down if the AKP loses power in the coming votes.


Sunday's rally in Istanbul. (AFP Photo/Turkish Prime Minister Press offcie - Kayhan Ozer)

And if this rally in Istanbul is any indication, he still has support, with hundreds of thousands of people gathering.

A January poll of 1,545 people in Turkey showed that while 70 percent believe that some of the corruption allegations about government ministers and their relatives are true, the AKP would win more votes than any other party if elections were held then. The poll was done by MetroPoll Strategical and Social Research Center. The poll, however, also showed a drop in his approval rating, from 59.1 percent in December 2012 to 48.1 percent in December 2013 to 39.4 percent in January 2014.

See some more images of the rally:


(Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images)

(AFP Photo/Turkish Prime Minister Perss Office - Kayhan Ozer)

And here are even more images:

 

Terri Rupar is The Post's mobile product editor.
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