Erdogan’s milestones before Turkey’s election

Mayor of Istanbul Recep Tayyip Erdogan holds the book called 'Turk and being Turkish' as his Ankara counterpart and strongest supporter Melih Gokcek sits next to him during a press conference in Istanbul, Wednesday, April 22, 1998. Erdogan, who marked 20 years in power this year, is seeking a third consecutive term in office as Turkey's president in elections on May 14, 2023. [AP]

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan hopes to extend his rule into a third decade in a May 14 election but faces his toughest test yet at the ballot box, with his popularity hit by a cost-of-living crisis driven by runaway inflation.

Here are some of the milestones in the career of a politician who has brought significant change to Turkey, steering its traditionally secular society towards his Islamist vision, establishing the country as a regional military power and using the courts to crack down on dissent:

March 1994: Erdogan is elected Istanbul mayor as part of the Welfare Party, led by Islamist politician Necmettin Erbakan.

April 1998: Erdogan resigns as mayor after a court sentences him to prison for inciting religious discrimination over a poem he recited in 1997 comparing mosques to barracks, minarets to bayonets and the...

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