As of 2021, who is Recep Tayyip Erdoğan?
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (born 26 February 1954) is a Turkish politician serving as the 12th and current president of Turkey since 2014. He previously served as prime minister of Turkey from 2003 to 2014 and as mayor of Istanbul from 1994 to 1998.
Assuming the role of President, he was criticized for openly stating that he would not maintain the tradition of presidential neutrality. He has also stated his intention to pursue a more active role as president, such as utilising the President's rarely used cabinet-calling powers. The political opposition has argued that Erdoğan will continue to pursue his own political agenda, controlling the government, while his new Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu would be docile and submissive. The domination of loyal Erdoğan supporters in the cabinet fuelled speculation that Erdoğan intended to exercise substantial control over the government.
When Erdoğan came to power, he continued Turkey's long ambition of joining the European Union. On 3 October 2005 negotiations began for Turkey's accession to the European Union. The European Commission generally supports Erdoğan's reforms, but remains critical of his policies. Negotiations about a possible EU membership came to a standstill in 2009 and 2010, when Turkish ports were closed to Cypriot ships. The Turkish government continues its refusal to recognize EU member state Cyprus.