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06/03/2011 11:55 am ET | Updated Aug 03, 2011

Turkey Elections: Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Divisive Role

In theory, the countdown to Turkey's June 12 elections ought to be a quiet affair. There's little doubt over who will win - polls show incumbent Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan poised to win a third term with a comfortable 42% to 48% of the vote. Yet, every day brings news of more violence on the campaign trail. A retired teacher died Monday after riot police tear-gassed an anti-Erdogan rally; a day later in the capital, Ankara, police beat a young protester and broke her hip. Ostensibly at the height of his popularity, Erdogan has also become one of the most divisive figures in Turkish history.

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