A video of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan scoring a hat-trick in just 15 minutes of an exhibition match has gone viral.
The Turkish leader turned star striker was playing in a football friendly to celebrate the opening of the new stadium of the Istanbul Basaksehir team who won promotion to the country's Super Lig next season.
At 60 years old, Erdogan's eye for goal was even more surprising, running off the shoulder of the last defender to score the first before chipping the goalkeeper for the second. He rounded off his hat-trick -- to complete a dramatic comeback from 3-0 down -- with a cool finish.
His talent and enthusiasm for the game reportedly stem from his time as an amateur footballer during his youth and as an avid fan outside of politics.
According to Al Arabiya, Turkish fans held up placards saying: "As long as you live, Turkey will remain the champion."
"A president who sweats, runs and scores goals. Just as he has been throughout his political life," his adviser Yusuf Yerkel tweeted as the video began to amass over 100,000 YouTube views.
Erdogan is to stand in the Turkish presidential elections next month and he wore the number 12 shirt as he would be the 12th president of modern Turkey if he was elected.
The cameo of the Turkish leader was similar to pictures of US President Barack Obama playing basketball and Russian President Vladimir Putin playing ice hockey, both also scoring frequently.
A YouTube video of Erdogan's hat-trick becoming viral is ironic given his order to ban the video-sharing website earlier this year.
Had he scored the hat-trick after Turkey's highest court banned the site in late March -- following a corruption scandal which threatened to embroil his regime -- few would have witnessed his goal scoring heroics.
Fortunately for Erdogan, the ban was lifted in June, a month before his virtuoso performance.
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