Besieged by charges of corruption, the Prime Minister of Turkey has been campaigning non-stop for his party in Sunday's local election. Under the strain, Erdogan lost his once- authoritative voice, much to the astonishment of crowds at today's rally in the east of the country.
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Recep Erdogan has had better days. With municipal elections coming up on Sunday, there has been furious often mean-spirited campaigning going on for the last few weeks. For all of the top four candidates, this is includes two, sometimes three whistle-stop speeches every day, and an interview with one of the many friendly TV channels in the evening.
That's only half the story. Added to that, there have been a series of leaked audio recordings seeming to show all kinds of scandalous activity. In desperation he ordered the closure of Twitter- on grounds of privacy. The courts did not agree and ordered that Twitter be un-banned.
The government's reaction? To ban YouTube on grounds of national security. And there's some truth in that since today's tape reportedly reveals audio details of an attempted false flag operation to launch a war with Syria.
Whatever the truth, the leaks have shaken his party to the core. Clearly his party's image has been severely damaged. Nevertheless, Erdogan has remained unflinching, denying the authenticity of the tapes.
Today things took a turn for the surreal when, after a week of voice problems, Erdogan's voice finally left him. No doubt the crowds gathered to listen to his speech in Van, Turkey were stunned to hear the leader of the nation sounding unlike anything they'd heard before. It was as if the man who wanted to become a sultan had transformed into the harem eunuch. Listen for yourself: