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Erdogan: Turkey's 'big master' with eye on history

Published on Aug 11, 2014 2:02 AM
 

ANKARA (AFP) - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who will be Turkey's next president after an easy election victory, climbed from a humble youth in Istanbul to become one of the most significant but controversial leaders in the Islamic world.

Mr Erdogan, who has served as premier since 2003, is lauded by his supporters as a transformative figure who modernised Turkey and delivered power back to the people from the secular and military elite.

But the 60-year-old is also an increasingly divisive figure, hated by large numbers of secular Turks who see him as an autocrat slowly but surely Islamising the country.

There is no doubt that Mr Erdogan has his eye on history and wants to be ranked alongside Turkey's post-Ottoman founding father Mustafa Kemal Ataturk as one of the great transformative figures in its modern history.

Supporters of Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan celebrate his victory in the presidential election in front of the party headquarters in Ankara August 10, 2014. He has climbed from a humble youth in Istanbul to become one of the most significant but controversial leaders in the Islamic world. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
 
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