Who is Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan?  – Live News 24

Who is Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan? – Live News 24

RECEP Tayyip Erdogan has been the leader of Turkey since 2014 and has been regarded as a controversial leader  In October 2019 he started a military offensive  into northern Syria, attacking the Kurds who had played a large part in fighting ISIS Who is Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan?  Recep Tayyip Erdogan was elected as President in 2014 and upon re-election in 2018 he assumed the role of Executive President in name and executive status – giving him more control  The 65-year-old describes himself as a “conservative democrat,” promoting conservative social policies and liberal economic measures  He founded the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in 2001 along with Abdullah Gul, leading it to election victories in 2002, 2007 and 2011  Erdogan stepped down from the party when he became President in 2014 but returned to its leadership in 2017  Before launching his political career he played football for Kasimpasa.  He then stood as the mayor of Istanbul in 1994 as the candidate for the Welfare Party  Erdogan was later removed from office, banned from holding political office and handed a four-month prison sentence for inciting religious hatred  The ban on holding political office was lifted by Gul after the AKP won the elections in 2003 and Gul was Prime Minister  Erdogan launched peace talks with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in 2012 in a bid to end the insurgency that had been going on since 1978  The talks though broke down in 2015.  He has also been criticised for his attempts to control the press and social media, imposing blocks on a number of sites including YouTube, Twitter and Wikipedia  Fethullah Gulen had been a strong supporter of Erdogan but Erdogan purged Gulen’s supporters from the judiciary, military and civil services after the two fell out  A failed military coup d’etat was attempted in July 2016 resulted in Erdogan imposing more purges and implementing a state of emergency with Erdogan claiming the leaders of the coup were linked to Gulen Gulen though has denied any involvement in it. What have the critics said?  Reporters Without Borders labelled Erdogan as an “enemy of press freedom” after his crackdown on the media following the coup d’etat attempt with a number of newspapers, such as Zaman, being closed down  More than 200 journalists were arrested and over 120 media outlets shut down.  Since Erdogan came to power the Republican People’s Party (CHP) say that more than 1,893 journalists have lost their jobs due to their opposition to his administration  Former US ambassadors to Turkey, Morton Abramowitz and Eric Edelman, condemned the actions, writing in The Washington Post: “Clearly, democracy cannot flourish under Erdgan now ”  Erdogan has also repeatedly been accused of behaving like a dictator after he consolidated his power in 2018 and assumed the role of Executive President as well as President These have mainly come from the leader of the opposition Kemal Kilicdaroglu.  In April 2014 the President of the Constitutional Court Hasim Kilic accused Erdogan of damaging the credibility of the judiciary, describing Erdogan’s attempts to exert political control over the courts as “desperate”  In 2014 a new law was passed giving the government greater control over the judiciary, which sparked widespread public protests across the country and condemnation from international organisations which saw the law as blurring the lines between the executive and judiciary  Erdogan has also been accused of antisemitism.  A report in 2009 by the Israeli Foreign Ministry said that Erdogan “indirectly incites and encourages” antisemitism  In 2013 Erdogan was placed second in the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s list of the year’s top ten antisemitic personalities

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