Supporters of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) shout slogans against the government during a demonstration on February 26, 2014 on Istiklal Avenue in Istanbul. AFP PHOTO/OZAN KOSE
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The mood contrasted sharply with one of outrage in areas where Erdogan enjoys less support, illustrating the deepening polarization of a country that his AK Party has ruled since 2002, presiding over a decade of growing prosperity.Opposition politicians called on Erdogan to resign over the audiotape, but he has stood firm, accusing enemies of hacking encrypted state communications to fake a phone call at the time of police raids into a graft inquiry. Before Erdogan came to power, Turkey was plagued by chronic high inflation and economic crises under unstable coalition governments.The recording purports to be of Erdogan and his son Bilal discussing how to reduce funds at home to "zero" by distributing them among several businessmen.The left-wing BirGun daily printed a transcript of the five recordings over its entire front page without naming Erdogan or Bilal, describing them as a "father" and "son". Opinion polls conducted before the recordings surfaced indicate Erdogan's popularity has held up despite the corruption scandal that broke on Dec. 17 with the detention of businessmen close to him and three ministers' sons.Erdogan accuses Gulen of building a "parallel state" using influence in the judiciary and police and has hit back at the corruption probe by reassigning thousands of police officers and hundreds of judges and prosecutors.
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