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30 Most Aspiring Facts You Didn't Know About Recep Tayyip Erdogan

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Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the current President of Turkey, holding office since 2014, is known to have promoted socially conservative and liberal economic policies in his administration. Here are some really interesting facts about the Turkish politician:

  1.  He was born on February 26, 1954, in Kasimpasa, Istanbul, to Tenzile Erdogan and Ahmet, a captain in the Turkish Coast Guard. He has younger brother, Mustafa and a younger sister, Vesile.
  2.  After completing his primary education at ‘Kasimpasa Piyale Primary School’ he graduated from Eyup High School in 1973. He also attended Imam Hatip School, a religious vocational high school. Subsequently his claim of earning a degree in Business Administration from Aksaray School of Economics and commercial Science is disputed.
  3.  He was 13 years old when his father decided to move the family to Istanbul, with a hope of providing better upbringing. As a teenager, he sold lemonade and sesame buns on the streets to earn extra cash.
  4.  Erdogan married Emine Gulbaran on July 04, 1978. They have two sons, Ahmet Burak, Necmettin Bilal and two daughters, Esra, Sumeyye.
  5.  He joined the ‘National Turkish Student Union,’ an anti-communist action group, even when was pursuing his graduation. Around 1976 he joined the ‘Islamist National Salvation Party,’ and after the 1980 military coup, Erdogan followed Necmettin Erbakan, to join the ‘Islamist Welfare Party.’
  6.  His growth within the party was steady and in 1984 was made Beyoglu District Chairman of the party. As a provincial chairman for Istanbul and as member of executive board in 1985, he initiated reorganization of the party. He encouraged women and young people to politics.
  7.  On March 27, 1994, he was elected as the Mayor of Istanbul. With his practical approach he tackled many chronic problems such as water shortage, pollution, and traffic chaos. He also initiated the first roundtable of mayors during Istanbul Conference.
  8.  On March 24, 1999, he was sentenced to ten months imprisonment for inciting violence. After the Welfare party was declared unconstitutional in 1998, he recited an improvised poem written by Ziya Gokalp, as ‘the mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers.’
  9.  The consequence of this judgment resulted in him being removed from Mayoral position and was banned from contesting in parliament elections. Following his appeal the sentence was reduced to 120 days.
  10.  Erdogan’s childhood and his mayoral tenure were made into a Turkish biographical film ‘Reis’ and was released in 2017, just before the constitutional referendum. Earlier in 1974, he wrote, directed and played the lead in the play ‘Maskomya’ highlighted Freemasonry, Communism and Judaism as evil.
  11.  On Augus 14, 2001, he established the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and subsequently was elected the founding chairman. He participated in the renewal election held on March 09, 2003, after his political ban was lifted and won 85% of the vote to become Prime Minister on March 15.
  12.  Erdogan took initiative to end the quarter century old Turkish-Kurdish Worker’s Party conflict in 2009. He provided partial amnesty to the members of PKK party allowed the use of Kurdish language, restored Kurdish names to cities and towns apart from establishing a committee to fight discrimination. All these measures were necessitated by the European Union.
  13.  The political situation under his rule was more stable and the military intervention was averted. The economic reforms of Kemal Dervis, raised the GDP from $ 300 billion in 2002 to $ 750 billion in 2008 and the average per capita income increased from $3,300 to $10,000 in the same period.
  14.  In 2003, Erdogan brought about a reform in the Turkey’s labor laws, where by establishing 45 hours workweek with 270 hours overtime work per year. The employee is legally protected against discrimination of sex, religion, or politics and a written contract is mandatory with suitable compensation for termination.
  15.  His government in tie-up with UNICEF, started a campaign in 2003 called ‘Come on girls, let’s go to School.’ He kept his poll promise of starting ‘f@tih project’ where every school will be provided smart board, tablet computers and text book free of charge. The number of universities doubled from 98 in 2002 to 186 in October in 2012.
  16.  In 2003, He reformed the Turkish healthcare system with ‘Health Transformation Program,’ to increase quality of health and to protect from financial risks. Subsequently a most radical reform was introduced in 2008 whereby, five different institutions and their laws that regulate social security system was combined under one roof and banned smoking in public places.
  17.  He won his second term as the prime minister in 2007 and went on to win the 2011 election. In the process Erdogan is the only prime minister to win three consecutive general elections, each time receiving more vote than the previous election.
  18.  He refused to acknowledge the mass killing of Armenian during World War I for want of evidence and even ordered the tearing-down of the ‘Statue of Humanity,’ a friendship monument in Kars. However on April 23, 2014, his office issued a statement in nine language offering condolences for the mass killings of Armenians and in March 2015, he was ordered to pay Aksoy, the sculptor 10,000 lira, for destroying the statue.
  19.  During his term in the office, he initially initiated democratic process but later on he returned to more authoritarian ways with steady decrease in freedom of press, freedom of speech and Kurdish minority rights.
  20.  In 2011, his government made legal reforms to return properties of Christian and Jewish minorities which were seized over the years since 1936 and promised to pay compensation for the properties that were seized and later sold.
  21.  Under Erdogan, in May 2013, the government banned alcohol advertisement tightened restriction on its sale and increased the taxes on alcoholic beverages. He declared in April, that yoghurt beverage ‘ayran’ was Turkey’s national drink. The new law drew criticism from secular Turks.
  22.  He commissioned the construction of world’s deepest undersea tube rail tunnel in the Bosphorus Strait in 2004 and in 2013, the construction of the 1.9 km long Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge has commenced.
  23.  In March 2006, the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors, accused Erdogan of creating rift with Turkey’s highest court of appeal, the ‘Yargitay,’ and high administrative court, the ‘Danistay.’ The head of the Constitutional Court, Tulay Tugcu, condemned Erdogan for threats, insults and hostility towards the justice system.
  24.  He was against abortion for he felt killing in the womb or after birth is one and the same. He advocated high population growth to keep the Turkish population young.
  25.  In 2013 there was mass protest with clashes in the street of Istanbul for weeks against authoritarianism of Erdogan and his policies. The Gezi Park protest started in a small scale and grew each day before the government clamped down on the protestor.
  26.  After a telephonic conversation between Erdogan and his son, about concealing large amount of money was posed to YouTube, his government passed a bill on February 26, 2014, to block internet sites. Subsequently his effort to block twitter service and Facebook, proved ineffective and on June 03, the ban was lifted.
  27.  On August 28, 2014, Erdogan took oath of office as the 12th President of Turkey. He openly stated that he will not maintain president neutrality and will pursue his own political agenda.
  28.  On July 15, 2016, a coup attempt by the military with an aim to remove Erdogan, was averted. Reportedly when no arrest was made there was a suspicion of a staged coup. Subsequently state of emergency was declared and more than 50,000 people were arrested with many losing their job.
  29.  During his first term as Prime Minister he was praised as a role model for emerging Middle Eastern nations with his religious freedom and minority rights reforms. However he faced several crises including the ‘Sledgehammer’ and ‘Ergenekon’ cases against Turkish Armed Forces, corruption scandal, accusation of media intimidation and polarizing political agenda.
  30.  In November 2010, he was presented the ‘Leader of the Year’ award by the Union of Arab Banks in Lebanon and in 2011 he received the ‘Outstanding Personality in the Islamic World Award’ of the Sheikh Fahad al-Ahmed International Award for Charity in Kuwait.
  31.  Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Net Worth: $58 Million

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