Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is a Turkish politician serving as the 12th and current president of Türkiye since 2014. He previously served as prime minister of Türkiye from 2003 to 2014 and as mayor of Istanbul from 1994 to 1998. He also co-founded the Justice and Development Party in 2001.
Erdoğan was born in Kasımpaşa, a working-class neighborhood of Istanbul, on February 26, 1954. He grew up in a conservative Muslim family and attended a religious high school. After graduating from high school, Erdoğan went on to study at Marmara University, where he earned a degree in economics.
Erdoğan began his political career in the early 1980s. He joined the National Salvation Party, a conservative Islamist party, and quickly rose through the ranks of the party. In 1994, Erdoğan was elected mayor of Istanbul, becoming the first Islamist mayor of a major Turkish city.
Erdoğan’s time as mayor of Istanbul was controversial. He was accused of corruption and of promoting Islamic values in a secular city. However, he was also popular with many Turks, who saw him as a strong leader who could stand up to the military and the bureaucracy.
In 2001, Erdoğan co-founded the Justice and Development Party (AKP). The AKP was a new kind of political party in Türkiye, combining conservative values with a commitment to economic development. The AKP quickly became popular, winning a landslide victory in the 2002 general election.
As prime minister, Erdoğan oversaw a period of rapid economic growth in Türkiye. He also introduced a number of reforms, including reforms to the education system, the judiciary, and the military. However, Erdoğan’s reforms were controversial, and he was accused of authoritarianism and of undermining Turkey’s secular tradition.
In 2014, Erdoğan was elected president of Türkiye. He has since consolidated his power, increasing the powers of the presidency and cracking down on dissent. Erdoğan has also become increasingly authoritarian, and he has been accused of human rights abuses.
Despite the controversy surrounding him, Erdoğan remains a popular figure in Türkiye. He is seen by many Turks as a strong leader who can stand up for Türkiye’s interests. Erdoğan is also seen as a champion of Islam, and he has been praised by many Muslims around the world.