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Politics & War

Politics & War

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Recep Tayyip Erdogan




  • Erdoğan was born on 26 February 1954 in the Kasımpaşa, a poor neighborhood of Istanbul, to which his family had moved from Rize Province in the 1930’s. His parents were Ahmet Erdoğan (1905– 88) and Tenzile Erdoğan.
  • Erdoğan spent his early childhood in Rize, where his father was a captain in the Turkish Coast Guard.The family returned to Istanbul when Erdoğan was 13 years old.
  • Erdoğan graduated from Kasımpaşa Piyale primary school in 1965, and İmam Hatip school, a religious vocational high school, in 1973.


  • Erdoğan attended a meeting of the nationalist student group Milli Turk Talebe Birlig. Within the group, Erdoğan was distinguished by his oratorical skills.
  • Erdoğan wanted to pursue advanced studies at Mekteb-i Mülkiye, but Mülkiye only accepted students with regular high school diplomas, not graduates of İmam Hatips.
  • Mülkiye was known for its political science department, which trained many statesmen and politicians in Turkey. Erdoğan was then admitted to Eyüp High School, a regular state school, and eventually received his high school diploma from Eyüp.


  • In 1976, Erdoğan engaged in politics by joining the National Turkish Student Union, an anti-communist action group.
  • In the same year, he became the head of the Beyoğlu youth branch of the Islamist National Salvation Party (MSP).
  • He became the party’s Beyoğlu district chair in 1984, and in 1985 he became the chair of the Istanbul city branch. He was elected to parliament in 1991, but was barred from taking his seat.


  • In the local elections of 27 March 1994, Erdoğan was elected Mayor of Istanbul.He was pragmatic in office, tackling many chronic problems in Istanbul including water shortage, pollution and traffic chaos.
  • Erdoğan was member of political parties that keep got banned by the army or judges. The latter envisioned a party that could operate within the limits of the system, and thus not getting banned as its predecessors like National Order Party, National Salvation Party and Welfare Party.


  • When the Virtue Party was also banned in 2001, a definitive split took place: the followers of Necmettin Erbakan founded the Felicity Party (SP) and the reformers founded the Justice and Development Party.
  • This turned out to be successful as the new party won 34% of the vote in the general elections of 2002. Erdoğan became prime minister in March 2003 after the Gül government ended his political ban.


  • The elections of 2002 were the first elections in which Erdoğan participated as a party leader. The AKP won 34.3% of the national vote and formed the new government.
  • The stage of the elections of 2007 was set for a fight for legitimacy.On 22 July 2007, the AKP won an important victory over the opposition, garnering 46.7% of the popular vote.
  • On 14 March 2008, Turkey’s Chief Prosecutor asked the country’s Constitutional Court to ban Erdoğan’s governing party.The party escaped a ban on 30 July 2008, a year after winning 46.7% of the vote in national elections.
  • In the June 2011 elections, Erdoğan’s governing party won 327 seats (49.83% of the popular vote) making Erdoğan the only prime minister in Turkey’s history to win three consecutive general elections.


  • During Erdoğan’s time as Prime Minister, the far-reaching powers of the 1991 Anti-Terror Law were reduced and the Democratic initiative process.
  • Erdoğan tried to attract more foreign investors to Turkey and lifted many government regulations. The cash-flow into the Turkish economy between 2002 and 2012 caused a growth of 64% in real GDP and a 43% increase in GDP per capita.
  • In 2002, the Turkish Central Bank had $26.5 billion in reserves. This amount reached $92.2 billion in 2011. During Erdoğan’s leadership, inflation fell from 32% to 9.0% in 2004.
  • In 2003, Erdoğan’s government pushed through the Labor Act, a comprehensive reform of Turkey’s labor laws. Erdoğan increased the budget of the Ministry of Education from 7.5 billion lira in 2002 to 34 billion lira in 2011.


  • After assuming power in 2003, Erdoğan’s government embarked on a sweeping reform program of the Turkish healthcare system, called the Health Transformation Program (HTP), to greatly increase the quality of healthcare and protect all citizens from financial risks.
  • Its introduction coincided with the period of sustained economic growth, allowing the Turkish government to put greater investments into the healthcare system. As part of the reforms, the “Green Card” program, which provides health benefits to the poor, was expanded in 2004.
  • In January 2008, the Turkish Parliament adopted a law to prohibit smoking in most public places.


  • Erdoğan took the oath of office on 28 August 2014 and became the 12th president of Turkey.Erdoğan has also stated his intention to pursue a more active role as President, such as utilising the President’s rarely used cabinet-calling powers.
  • The 2018 Turkish presidential election took place as part of the 2018 general election, alongside parliamentary elections on the same day.
  • Following the approval of constitutional changes in a referendum held in 2017, the elected President will be both the head of state and head of government of Turkey, taking over the latter role from the to-beabolished office of the Prime Minister.


  • In April 2017, a constitutional referendum was held, where the voters in Turkey (and Turkish citizens abroad) voted on a set of 18 proposed amendments to the Constitution of Turkey.
  • The amendments include the replacement of the existing parliamentary system with a presidential system.
  • The post of Prime Minister would be abolished, and the presidency would become an executive post vested with broad executive powers. Parliament would be increased from 550 seats to 600 seats and the age of candidacy to the parliament was lowered from 25 to 18.


  • On 20 July 2016, President Erdoğan declared the state of emergency, citing the coup d’état attempt as justification. More than 50,000 people have been arrested and over 160,000 fired from their jobs by March 2018.
  • The number of Turkish journalists jailed by Turkey is higher than any other country, including all of those journalists currently jailed in North Korea, Cuba, Russia, and China combined.
  • In the wake of the coup attempt of July 2016 the Erdoğan administration began rounding up tens of thousands of individuals,
  • On 29 April 2017 Erdoğan’s administration began an internal Internet block of all of the Wikipedia online encyclopedia site via Turkey’s domestic Internet filtering system.
  • In January 2016, more than a thousand academics signed a petition criticizing Turkey’s military crackdown on ethnic Kurdish towns.