Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (Turkish:  (listen); born February 26, 1954) is a Turkish politician serving as the 12th and current president of Turkey since 2014. He previously served as prime minister of Turkey from 2003 to 2014 and as mayor of Istanbul from 1994 to 1998. He is also the co-founder of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in 2001. Born in Güneysu, Rize, Erdoğan moved with his family to Istanbul at the age of 13. He studied Business Administration at the Aksaray Academy of Economic and Commercial Sciences, before working as a consultant and senior manager in the private sector. During this time, Erdoğan became active in parties led by veteran Islamist politician Necmettin Erbakan, starting as his party's Beyoğlu district chair in 1984 and Istanbul chair in 1985. Following the 1994 local elections, Erdoğan was elected mayor of Istanbul, where he implemented a series of reforms that modernized the city's infrastructure and economy. In 1998 he was convicted for inciting religious hatred after reciting a poem by Ziya Gökalp that compared mosques to barracks and the faithful to an army. Erdoğan was released from prison in 1999 and subsequently abandoned openly Islamist politics, breaking with Erbakan to form the AKP, a party designed to follow the example of the European Christian Democratic parties. More information...

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