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About Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was born in 1954 in Rize, a city on the Black Sea , where his father served as a coast guard. He attended elementary and secondary schools in Istanbul , played professional soccer in a youth league, and studied economics and commerce at Marmara University , where he was elected chairman of the National Salvation Party's (MSP) youth auxiliary in 1976. He holds a degree in management.

He worked for the Istanbul city public transit agency until 1980 and served as an officer in the military reserve. After working in private business, Erdogan entered politics in 1983 and became a member of the executive board of the Welfare Party (RP) in 1985. After running for parliament in 1986 and mayor in 1989, he was elected to parliament in 1991, but the election was annulled by the Supreme Election Board.

He was elected mayor of Istanbul in 1994. In December 1999 he gave a speech that included a passage of poetry that was said to incite religious strife, a violation of Turkish law. He was convicted by the state security court, resigned as mayor, and served a prison term from March 26, 1999 to July 24, 1999 .

After the Welfare Party was officially banned, Erdogan founded the Justice and Development Party and served as its general chairman. The Supreme Election Board banned him as a candidate for parliament in 2002, when his party prevailed in the elections. The new government formed by with his party members and led by Prime Minister Abdullah Gul amended the Turkish constitution to lift the ban on Erdogan.

He was elected to parliament in 2003 and became prime minister following the resignation of Prime Minister Gul.

Erdogan is married and had four children.

Turkey MapTurkey

Official Name: Republic of Turkey  Turkey Flag

Geography
Area: 780,580 sq. km.
Cities: Capital --Ankara (pop. 4.0 million). Other cities --Istanbul (8.8 million), Izmir (2.3 million), Bursa (2.1 million), Adana (1.8 million).
Terrain: Narrow coastal plain surrounds Anatolia, an inland plateau becomes increasingly rugged as it progresses eastward. Turkey includes one of the more earthquake-prone areas of the world.
Climate: Moderate in coastal areas, harsher temperatures inland.

People
Nationality: Noun --Turk(s). Adjective --Turkish.
Population (2003): 68.1 million.
Annual population growth rate: 7.8%.
Ethnic groups: Turkish, Kurdish, other.
Religions: Muslim 99%, Christian, Bahai and Jewish.
Languages: Turkish (official), Kurdish, Zaza, Arabic, Armenian, Greek.
Education: Years compulsory --8. Attendance --95%. Literacy --86.5%.
Health: Infant mortality rate --39.4/1,000. Life expectancy-- 68.5 yrs.
Work force (23 million): A griculture --35.6%; industry --17.5%; services --42.2%.

Government
Type: Republic.
Independence: October 29, 1923.
Constitution: November 7, 1982.
Branches: Executive --president (chief of state), prime minister (head of government), Council of Ministers (cabinet--appointed by the president on the nomination of the prime minister). Legislative --Grand National Assembly (550 members) chosen by national elections at least every 5 years. Judicial --Constitutional Court, Court of Cassation, Council of State, and other courts.
Political parties in Parliament: Justice and Development Party (AK), Republican People's Party (CHP), and True Path Party (DYP).
Suffrage: Universal, 18 and older.
National holiday: Republic Day, October 29.

Economy
GNP: (2002) $180.9 billion; (2003) $238.5 billion.
Annual real GNP growth rate: (2002) (+)7.8%; (2003) (+) 5.9%.
GNP per capita: (2002) $2,598 ; (2003) $3,383.
Annual inflation rate /CPI (2002) 29.7%; (2003) 18.4%.
Natural resources: Coal, chromium, mercury, copper, boron, oil, gold.
Agriculture (11.8% of GNP): Major cash crops --cotton, sugar beets, hazelnuts, wheat, barley, and tobacco. Provides more than 40% of jobs, 6% of exports.
Industry (24.9% of GNP): Major growth sector, types- -automotive, electronics, food processing, textiles, basic metals, chemicals, and petrochemicals.
Trade: Exports (merchandise) (2002) $36.1 billion; (2003) $46.8 billion: textiles and apparel, iron and steel, electronics, tobacco, and motor vehicles.
Imports (merchandise) (2002) $51.6 billion; (2003) $68.7 billion: petroleum, machinery, motor vehicles, electronics, iron and steel, plastics. Major partners --Germany, U.S., Italy, France, Russian Federation, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, U.K.
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