Resources on Faith, Ethics and Public Life

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

This individual is not a direct affiliate of the Berkley Center.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has served as prime minister of Turkey since 2003, having been reelected in 2007 and 2011. Erdoğan was elected mayor of Istanbul in 1994 while representing the Islam-oriented Welfare Party (WP). He garnered popular support due to his apparent incorruptibility and commitment to Islamic principles. In 1998, Erdoğan was imprisoned for reading an "anti-secularist" poem at a political gathering. Shortly after, the WP was banned by the state. In 2001, Erdoğan and other moderates from the WP created the Justice and Development Party (AKP). Since then, Erdoğan has recast himself as a conservative democrat, advocates a liberal secularism that accepts Islamic values, and seeks friendly relations with East and West. In 2008, Erdoğan introduced legislation that would lift a ban on headscarves in universities, sparking protests from secularists. His government's lengthy tenure and prosecution of alleged coup-plotters have prompted concerns of creeping authoritarianism.
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