Istanbul: Turkey`s Prime Minister and
his Islamist-rooted party are poised to win a third straight
term in power on Sunday thanks to enduring economic and
"For middle and lower classes, (Prime Minister Recep
Tayyip) Erdogan represents economic and political stability,
which the opposition seems unable to sustain," said economist
According to pollsters, Erdogan`s Justice and
Development Party (AKP) is expected to cruise to victory with
between 45 and 50 percent of the vote, enough to form its
third one-party government since 2002. It took 47 percent in
2007 parliamentary elections.
The AKP`s roaring electoral machine has been in action
for weeks, with buses plying the streets of major cities
blaring the party`s campaign songs and giant posters of the
57-year-old Erdogan adorning buildings in downtown Istanbul.
With the slogan "Target 2023," the party has set
ambitious goals for the 100th anniversary of the modern
These include reaching a place among the world`s 10
largest economies, with a per capita income of USD 25,000
compared with today`s USD 10,000 (7,000 euros), and the
building of a canal to bypass the Bosphorus Strait, the
world`s fourth busiest waterway.
The slogan cleverly steals the thunder of the main
opposition centre-left Republican People`s Party (CHP), which
was established by the republic`s founding father Mustafa
Kemal Ataturk and is thought to stand a chance of increasing
its vote from 20 to 30 percent.
Moreover, the AKP is running against a splintered
opposition, which also includes the Nationalist Action Party
(MHP), expected to exceed 10 percent, and Kurdish-backed
independent candidates who are eyeing some 30 seats in the