Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been the president of Turkey since August 2014, the date in which the first direct elections for the position of head of state were held. Born in Istanbul on the 26th of February 1954, in 1994 he became mayor of Turkey's most important metropolis after climbing the ranks within his party having entered politics in the 70s. His political party is the "Islamist Welfare Party", know for its conservative positions and alignment with so-called political Islam. As a result of his views, Erdogan is opposed to the secular factions that have controlled the Turkish republic since its foundation. He became a leading figure in his political party and in 2001, following the dissolution of his first party, founded the AKP. With this new party he won the elections of 2002, but was only sworn in as Prime Minister in 2003 due to his previous conviction for "religious hatred". During his time as premier, he further consolidated his power. He implemented reforms to the powers of the president and in 2014 became the 12th Turkish Head of State.