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HE. Recep Tayyip Erdogan

President of the Republic of Turkey

Recep Tayyip Erdogan was the Prime Minister for 11 years, before becoming Turkey’s first popularly elected president in August 2014.  On August 27th he stepped down from the leadership of the Justice and Development Party (AKP-Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi) and the following day was inaugurated as the twelfth President of Turkey. During his three terms as Prime Minister, Turkey has seen unprecedented economic growth, constitutional reform, and a re-emergence as a major global power. This success in addition to his personal charisma and hard work have made Turkey a model to emulate for many Muslim countries.


A New President: President Erdogan won 52% of the vote in the country’s first direct elections for president. This was a continuation of his remarkable popularity and success at the ballot box over the past decade. He has made it clear that he means to turn the largely ceremonial post of president into a more meaningful one, and has indicated that he would like to see an executive presidential system implemented in Turkey.

A Popular Reformist: President Erdogan has pledged to continue working for Turkey’s inclusion in the EU. In September 2010, over 58% of voters supported Erdogan’s constitutional referendum which made changes to the constitution in order to bring the constitution into compliance with European Union Standards hence facilitating Turkey’s EU membership process. Erdogan has also lead groundbreaking initiatives by introducing a number of democratic measures in regards to the country’s judicial system, the Kurdish issue, non-Muslim minorities, Alawites, freedom of the press, zero tolerance to torture and the fight against coup attempts.

A Mediator: Erdogan insists on a role for Turkey as a mediator and bridge between cultures and civilizations. The Alliance of Civilizations initiative of the United Nations—that Erdogan established with the Spanish president, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero—has become a key forum for international, intercultural, and interreligious dialogue and cooperation. It has continued to develop deeper relations with key players in the Arab world, the Balkans, the Caucasus and Central Asia.

Arab World: Turkey’s position during the various uprisings in the Arab Spring has always been to side with the people. Erdogan and other high-level officials visited Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya post-revolution to show their continuing support for the transition to democracy. In Syria, this has led to border clashes with Syrian government forces, allowing Turkey the opportunity to deploy NATO Patriot missiles on its border with Syria. Erdogan is hailed for his strong opposition toward the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip, and his criticism of Israel’s May 31, 2010 raid on a humanitarian flotilla to Gaza, which killed nine Turkish nationals, and which led to a freeze in all military and political cooperation. An apology from the Israeli Prime Minister  began the process of healing relations.

Global Relations: Under Erdogan, Turkish foreign relations took on a global perspective. Starting with the adoption of a ‘good neighbour policy’—in August 2009, Turkey has focused on building stronger relations with all of its seven land-contiguous neighbours (especially Greece) and also all of those countries bordering the Black Sea (an important trading hub and a geopolitically significant area). In Africa, it has opened up over twenty new embassies and consulates and when Somalia suffered from a crippling famine and drought in 2011, Erdogan not only gave aid, but also became the first leader from outside Africa to visit Somalia in nearly two decades. While Turkey has about 45% of its foreign trade with European countries, it is developing strong trade relations with other regions and attracting investment from all over the world.

Challenges: His popularity suffered  with the heavy handed response to the Taksim Square protests. There has also been a highly publicised spat with Fethullah Gülen and the institutes dominated by the latter’s followers (especially the police). Also, he lost credibility for his personal harsh criticism of the Shaykh Al-Azhar for backing the overthrow of President Morsi. Further, Turkey’s support for the Free Syrian Army has been linked to the rise of the radical DA’ISH group, which is threatening the stability of the whole region. Erdogan will have to balance these key domestic and international issues if he is to readdress his fall in popularity within the Muslim world.

 

450 %The growth in the budget for the Ministry of Education during his leadership, now the country’s largest ministry. The military formerly had that distinction.
12thPresident of Turkey
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2 (UPI) -- Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan said Saturday the country is going through a "true normalization" process that will result in a "new Turkey." "What is being experienced in Turkey is true normalization," Today's Zaman quoted Erdogan as ...

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2013-11-07 13:44:15

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2013-10-17 18:02:26

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, acting through his powerful secret service chief, gave the Iranian government details of meetings that took place on Turkish soil between the Iranians and their Israeli Mossad handlers, a report in the Washington Post claimed ...

Recep Tayyip Erdogan: “Nagorno-Karabakh problem is as important for Turkey ... - APA
2013-11-13 12:23:00

We continue our unconditional support to Azerbaijan for the peaceful solution of the problem,” Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at the press conference following the 3rd meeting of Azerbaijan-Turkey High-Level Strategic Cooperation ...

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2013-11-06 22:28:53

It all started with the leak of remarks made by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a closed meeting over the weekend. According to media reports, Erdogan said university students — boys and girls — were sharing flats in the western province of ...

Turkey's Gradual Revolution - Project Syndicate
2013-10-23 15:30:17

ANKARA – When Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced his latest package of democratic reforms, ultra-nationalist groups accused him of betraying the values of the republic founded by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, while Kurdish nationalists ...

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2013-11-12 17:51:11

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What should be targeted is a concept of organic, and not just mechanic, democracy that preserves the rule of law, separation of powers, and that is participatory and pluralistic

Birth: 26 February 1954 (Age: 60)

Source of Influence:

Influence:President of 75.7 million Turkish citizens

School of Thought:

Status: Featured in current year

What should be targeted is a concept of organic, and not just mechanic, democracy that preserves the rule of law, separation of powers, and that is participatory and pluralistic
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450 %The growth in the budget for the Ministry of Education during his leadership, now the country’s largest ministry. The military formerly had that distinction.
12thPresident of Turkey
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