Erdoğan, Recep Tayyip (1954–)

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is a leading political figure in Turkey. He is the chairman of the Justice and Development Party that won 34% of the general votes in the 2002 elections and came to power.

Turkish political life witnessed the rise of Islamist parties in the late 1960s at a time when Erdoğan's political career also began. He took active positions in the National Salvation Party and its successors, the Welfare Party and the Virtue Party, all of which were later shut down by the Constitutional Court on the grounds of threatening the secular nature of the state.

Erdoğan was elected as mayor of Istanbul in 1994 by the Welfare Party. Reading a famous poem with religious imagery in a public speech, Erdoğan was imprisoned for 4½ ...

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