Turkey: Erdogan most popular among Time readers

But choice on cover is up to magazine

13 December, 18:14

(ANSAmed) - ANKARA, DECEMBER 13 - As he recovers from surgery that has generated denials and sinister rumours of his ill health, the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has received the news that he has been chosen as Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2011.

The result of the survey of readers of the prestigious American magazine was relayed by the Turkish news agency Anadolu, which warned that the final choice of who will appear on the coveted front cover will be made by the magazine later in the week, as was the case last year. Despite being the "people's choice", Erdogan was overtaken in the standings at the last minute by the Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, who in turn was seen as too controversial and replaced by the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg.

Last month, a photo of the Turkish Prime Minister, with arms folded, was placed on the magazine's front cover, above the headline "Erdogan's Way", a reference to the journey undertaken by the Turkish "pro-Islamist leader"' to turn a "secular, democratic and western-friendly" nation into a "regional power".

Erdogan, who with almost 123,000 votes, figures ahead of the footballer Lionel Messi (around 74,000) in the popularity stakes, also leads the way in a different section of the Time survey, that dedicated to the "least popular" figure, where he has garnered 181,000 votes. (ANSAmed).

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