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Turkey bans Erdogan election video over religious symbols

Published on Aug 6, 2014 12:35 AM

ANKARA (AFP) - Turkey’s top election body on Tuesday banned a television advertisement by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in his campaign for president on the grounds that it contained excessive religious symbolism.

Mr Erdogan, a pious Muslim who leads the Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP), is the hot favourite to become the 12th president of modern Turkey in the August 10 elections and has unleashed an energetic campaign with TV adverts and billboards across the country.

These include a slick three-minute long television advertisement which has been broadcast on federal channels since Monday and seeks to portray Mr Erdogan as a people’s president.

It includes the sound of the call to prayer, footage of a woman praying and her prayer carpet, as well as scenes of families and horses galloping across the steppe.

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