Supporters of the ruling AK Party wave Turkish flags as they wait for the arrival of Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan at the party's headquarters in Ankara March 30, 2014. (REUTERS/Umit Bektas)
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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday's bitterly contested local elections would affirm his legitimacy in battling graft allegations and security leaks that he blames on "traitors" within the Turkish state.The AKP needs to exceed its 2009 result of 38.8 percent to assert Erdogan's authority for a power struggle that is certain to continue after the polls.Erdogan has criss-crossed the nation of 77 million during weeks of hectic campaigning to rally his core conservative voters, in a measure of how seriously he takes his party's first test at the ballot box since last summer's protests across the country and the eruption of the corruption scandal in December.A vote of less than 36 percent, considered unlikely, would be a huge blow for Erdogan and would likely unleash AKP power struggles.
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