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Recep Tayyip Erdogan: A Controversial Figure Shaping Turkey’s Political Landscape and Claims Victory in Turkish Presidential Election 2023


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Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the President of Turkey since 2014, has been a highly influential and controversial figure in Turkish politics. His leadership style, policies, and political maneuvers have sparked both praise and criticism both domestically and internationally. This article explores Erdogan’s rise to power, his key policies, and the impact he has had on Turkey’s political landscape.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

The Rise to Power

Erdogan‘s political career began in the 1990s when he became the mayor of Istanbul. He co-founded the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in 2001, positioning himself as a reformist and promising a more democratic and economically prosperous Turkey. The AKP swept into power in 2002, winning a majority of seats in the parliament, with Erdogan becoming Prime Minister.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Key Policies and Economic Reforms

Erdogan’s tenure as Prime Minister and later as President has been marked by a series of key policies and economic reforms. Under his leadership, Turkey experienced significant economic growth and infrastructure development, earning him praise from many supporters. Erdogan implemented market-friendly reforms, attracting foreign investment and fostering a growing middle class.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

However, critics argue that this growth was not sustainable in the long term, pointing to rising debt levels, a widening income gap, and concerns about the independence of the central bank. Furthermore, Erdogan‘s strong-handed approach to governance and increasing consolidation of power has raised concerns about democratic backsliding in Turkey. Election 2023.

Shift Towards Authoritarianism

Erdogan’s presidency has been characterized by a gradual shift towards authoritarianism, with critics accusing him of suppressing dissent and curbing media freedom. The government has cracked down on journalists, academics, and activists, leading to a deterioration of press freedom and human rights in the country. The failed coup attempt in 2016 served as a turning point, leading to an extensive crackdown on perceived opponents and an increase in executive powers.

Foreign Policy Challenges

Erdogan has pursued an assertive foreign policy, positioning Turkey as a regional power in the Middle East. He adopted an active role in the Syrian conflict, supporting rebel groups and advocating for regime change. However, Turkey’s involvement has come at a cost, with increased tensions with neighboring countries and strained relations with traditional allies like the United States and the European Union.

The Turkish president has also taken a strong stance on issues related to Kurdish separatism. He has faced criticism for his treatment of the Kurdish minority and the military operations conducted against Kurdish militants, raising concerns about human rights violations and further exacerbating tensions within the country.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Impact on Turkish Society

Erdogan’s leadership has polarized Turkish society. While he has garnered significant support from conservative and rural populations who appreciate his religious values and efforts to promote traditional values, others view his policies as undermining Turkey’s secular foundations and diminishing personal freedoms.

Erdogan has capitalized on his political base, appealing to a nationalist sentiment and reinforcing a narrative of defending Turkish sovereignty and Islamic values. This approach has resonated with many segments of the population, particularly in the face of regional and international challenges.


Recep Tayyip Erdogan has undeniably left a significant mark on Turkish politics and society. While his supporters credit him with economic growth and a reinvigorated sense of national pride, critics argue that his leadership has eroded democratic institutions and human rights. The balance between his economic successes and concerns over democratic backsliding remains a subject of intense debate.

As Turkey moves forward, the role of Erdogan and his AKP party will continue to shape the country’s political landscape. Whether seen as a champion of the people or an autocratic leader, Erdogan’s legacy will be one that is both celebrated and scrutinized for years to come.

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