Barber in Turkey beaten for refusing handshake with politician

Istanbul: A ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmaker's supporters attacked and threatened a barber in Istanbul after he declined to shake hands with the politician, Turkey's Dogan news agency reported on Monday.

The supporters of Huseyin Burge beat up Mustafa Genc and threatened him as a row broke amid mounting tensions in Turkey ahead of the June 7 parliamentary polls, Dogan said.

Genc told police that AKP supporters attacked him after one of them alleged he swore at Burge as the MP toured shops in Istanbul's Beyoglu neighbourhood, said Dogan.

Genc filed a police complaint over the alleged attack and a threat he received from one of Burge's supporters that his shop would be shut down.

Stalling growth, stubbornly high unemployment and worrying levels of household debt in Turkey may harm the AKP in the upcoming elections for the first time since coming to power in 2002, according to observers.

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