Erdogan risks losing Turkish swing voters with harsh referendum rhetoric

  • World
  • Friday, 17 Feb 2017

FILE PHOTO: Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan kisses a handmade Turkish flag, given to him as a gift from Ugandan university student Cemil (not pictured), during a graduation ceremony in Ankara, Turkey, June 11, 2015. REUTERS/Umit Bektas/File Photo

ANKARA (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan has made abundantly clear how he sees an April 16 referendum to change Turkey's constitution and create a stronger presidency - those who vote "no", he says, are siding with supporters of terrorism and a failed coup.

Erdogan, the most popular but also most divisive politician in modern Turkish history, has long cast himself as the champion of ordinary, pious Turks exploited by a secular elite. But some pollsters and people close to the ruling AK Party now think his polarising rhetoric risks scaring off moderate voters in April.

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