March 18 - Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has experimented with advancing technology by using a 10-foot high hologram of himself as a way to reach more voters. Erdogan is currently campaigning for his ruling AK Party in bitterly fought municipal elections that have been marred by violence. Jim Drury reports.
UPSOT: ANNOUNCER When it comes to campaigning, controversial Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan is always prepared to try something new. UPSOT: CHEERING Erdogan's been premier for 11 years but at this rally in Izmir, he chose to project a new image in true 21st Century style....as a hologram The 10-foot tall, 3D projection was designed by Turkish company Polyvision. Executive chairman Aret Yildiz says he is excited about the technology's potential. SOUNDBITE (Turkish) CHAIRMAN OF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF POLYVISION, ARET YILDIZ, SAYING: "You can use this technology in every field, including politics. There aren't many examples of this in politics. Only two or three politicians have used this technique. So we have seen it's making a big impression on the world. I think this could be used in any field." Erdogan pre-recorded his speech in front of a green box while his image was reflected through 3D holographic beams. It allowed him - or at least his image - to reach a larger share of the electorate. Yildiz says the AK Party leader has started a trend. SOUNDBITE (Turkish) CHAIRMAN OF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF POLYVISION, ARET YILDIZ, SAYING: "We have been already doing business in various circles but with the Prime Minister this technology reached out to a wider group. Local elections are coming so we are receiving requests from candidates. We're offering and producing projects for them." A controversial leader who divides opinion at home and abroad, Erdogan is currently fronting AK's campaign in bitterly contested local elections. Using hologram technology may be one way, not only to reach a wider audience, but to do it in relative safety.