Recep Tayyip Erdogan: 5 ways he has shaped Turkey
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was swept into office for a third term Sunday when his party won 50 percent of the vote in parliamentary elections.
Erdogan’s foreign policy has been largely shaped by Ahmet Davutoglu, his foreign minister who proudly touts Turkey’s guiding principle: “zero problems with neighbors.” Fed up with playing junior partner to the West, Turkey has carved out a niche for itself as an increasingly credible regional mediator – helping to work for peace from the Balkans to Afghanistan to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
But Turkey’s role as mediator ran into trouble when Erdogan publicly condemned Israel’s 2009 Gaza war and implicitly backed the 2010 Gaza flotilla – a contingent of mainly Turkish activists that sought to breach Gaza’s blockade and deliver supplies to Gazans. Nine of the activists, all of them citizens of Turkey, were killed in an Israeli raid.