[Dimitris Manis]: The recent protest rallies in Turkey have brought together many groups of the Turkish opposition, some of which have entirely different political positions. These groups united to demand the end of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s eleven-year leadership. However, the Turkish leader has shown no signs of backing down. The Kaptaan-Pasha neighborhood in Istanbul is the area where Mr. Erdogan was born and raised. It is a middle-class neighborhood where everyone knows each other, supports each other, and is very proud that the country’s Prime Minister comes from there. Der Teran, who is an unemployed waiter, claims that Mr. Erdogan is popular because he is a devout Muslim. [Der Teran]: We like that our Prime Minister prays and fasts. In Turkey, 98% of the population is Muslim, and a leader who respects our religious beliefs is naturally liked by everyone. [Dimitris Manis]: Not everyone. The anti-government protests continue at Taksim Square. They started a month ago as a protest against the redevelopment of a park in the city center and evolved into a generalized reaction to Prime Minister Erdogan’s leadership. Sati Ağ is a security guard in the Turkish metropolis. [Sati Ağ]: He oppresses people. He sees only one side. We don’t know why, but he never listens to us. He behaves like a dictator. [Dimitris Manis]: In the Kaptaan-Pasha area, where residents are known to be tough people, many support the idea that Mr. Erdogan should not back down. One of them is Eris Dogan, a worker in a textile factory. [Eris Dogan]: Sometimes he is strict and sometimes more receptive, and people like these characteristics. More than 50% of the country’s population supports him. [Dimitris Manis]: Mr. Erdogan is currently 59 years old. He took over the prime ministership of the country in 2003 and since then has been re-elected twice with very large percentages. As a young man, he did many jobs to support his family. He became an active member of political Islam in his teenage years and spent four months in prison in 1998 for reading an Islamic poem at a demonstration. As mayor of Istanbul in the mid-1990s, he became popular for cleaning and modernizing the city. He was a professional football player in his youth and later built a stadium for his old team that bears his name. As Prime Minister, he started many large infrastructure and urban regeneration projects. During his governance period, the Turkish economy quadrupled and the middle class expanded. But his critics stress that his projects mostly favored the wealthy Turkish citizens. In Kaptaan Pasha, some elders express some reservations about their fellow townsman in private conversations, like 72-year-old retiree Haydira Indin. [Haydira Indin]: He was a good friend, a good person, and was faithful to his friends. But now I don’t know. Now he is very high. It’s like a helicopter in the sky. [Dimitris Manis]: However, Mr. Indin does not want to speak ill of his former neighbor. The only thing he has to say is that he was a good football player. Dimitris Manis, Voice of America, Washington.