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Turkish Prime Minister Tayipp Erdogan addresses thousands at the Istanbul airport as he returns from a trip to the provinces. The embattled leader is facing an unprecedented crisis over a high-level corruption scandal. (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) TURKISH PRIME MINISTER, TAYYIP ERDOGAN, SAYING: "Sovereignty does not belong to the judiciary. Sovereignty does not belong to the government either. It belongs to the people." While his supporters may have been out in force -- his detractors are not going quietly into the night. Outrage spills into the streets. The scandal has forced three ministers to resign and a cabinet reshuffle. The Turkish economy, whose rapid growth has been a showpiece of his rule -- is now vulnerable. With his ruling AK Party under pressure speculation is rife that he might call early general elections next year. One party official told Reuters that an early election could help arrest the slide.