Recep Tayyip Erdogan: 2010’s Renegade Person of the Year?

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Leave it to outspoken, aggressive rhetoric to catch the eyes and ears of everyday citizens.

A little more than a week has passed since we released our list of candidates for the 2010 TIME Person of the Year. There are the mainstream performers like Lady Gaga, LeBron James and Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert. There are the major politicians like David Cameron, Barack Obama and Hamid Karzai. Then, there’s the current poll leader — an international darkhorse who made an impact this year by flexing his diplomatic muscle.

Israel’s raid on a Gaza flotilla delivering aid to locals marked another manifest sign of tension in the Middle East. Turkey was involved in the controversy — a primary supplier of that aid — sparking a firm response from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He showed no mercy toward Israel’s actions, accusing the nation as guilty of “inhumane state terrorism.” That, among other things, has led to more than 131,000 votes in his favor from online participants.

Have you placed your vote? Head over to to secure your place in our poll. Or, share your thoughts in person at one of our TIME 2010 Person of the Year meetup spots around the globe. Sign up now, as spots are filling up fast.