DAA Daily

Presidential Profile: Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Kaya Derin Ozkan
The Pawprint
News Co-Editor

There have been many questions about the veracity of the election  which has deemed the democratically elected Prime Minister and made him President of Turkey: Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Fox News, The New Yorker, New York Times and The Independent have deemed Erdogan as a “Tyrant” and a “Dictator”. These claims have been shaped by certain actions of the former Prime minister and now President.  Some include, sending journalists that had criticized his regime to prison, claiming that they had committed the “an irredeemable action of treason”, as well as calling the PM’s (Prime minister) of the Netherlands and Germany Mark Rutte and Angela Merkel Nazi and fascist dictators.

Many of his supporters claim that Erdoğan “saved Turkey” from financial crisis in 2008, as well as building and improving infrastructure. In his term he has built approximately 17,000 mosques, and many of his voters love his dedication to Islam, and his focus on spreading the religion. While  others claim that tax money could be used on things more useful than mosques such as hospitals and schools, or maybe to improve some of the roads, buildings and overall infrastructure outside of the major cities. Furthermore, a sizeable portion of the Turkish population are concerned with Erdogan’s stubbornness. His supporters call it being strong-willed yet his reluctance to comply with western powers is causing much distress among the public. In November of 2015 Erdogan claimed that he ordered the shooting down of a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M attack jet. He said that the Russian jet had flown over Turkish airspace and that he had to set an example of Russia to show that “Turkey was not a nation to be played with”.

Despite public outcry from Europe and western nations, Turkey as a member of NATO and having a strong alliance with the United States, it is unlikely that a military intervention will take place. However this did not stop an internal attempt to overthrow him. For example an attempted military-coup to overthrow his regime took place over the summer of 2016. This also calls for debate, as some claim that this was all a show to rally public opinion after a disappointing year as prime minister of Turkey. Despite outcry from a significant percent of the population, he has guaranteed support of at least 45% of the Turkish population garuntand no one sees that changing for a long, long time.

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