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.

Less military, more civilian

Turkey has a strong military past. The constitution, written in 1980 after a military coup, essentially named the military as the defender of secularism and awarded the military broad government powers.

But under Erdogan, Turkey has set out to decrease the military’s power through civilian channels, including the courts and the ballot box. Some of the reforms are linked to Turkey’s EU bid.

In March 2010, dozens of military officers were arrested – a first for the country – for their alleged role in a coup plot to overthrow the Erdogan’s liberal Islamic government. The military has brought down the government four times since 1960, most recently in 1997.

Erdogan seeks to rewrite the military-friendly Turkish constitution, partially to cement his efforts at shifting the power base from the military to civilians. Rewriting the constitution would also empower Erdogan, his party, and other Islamic elements in the country.

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