Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi Meets Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Chigi Palace in Rome on November 7, 2007

Erdoğan in 2007, photo by

Place of Birth: Kasımpaşa, Istanbul, Turkey

Date of Birth: 26 February, 1954

Ethnicity: Turkish

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is a Turkish politician. He has been the President of Turkey, since 28 August, 2014, and Leader of the Justice and Development Party, since 21 May, 2017. He was previously party leader, from 14 August, 2001 to 27 August, 2014. He has also been Mayor of Istanbul, from 27 March, 1994 to 6 November, 1998, and Prime Minister of Turkey, from 14 March, 2003 to 28 August, 2014.

President Erdoğan is the son of Tenzile (Mutlu) and Ahmet Erdoğan. Ahmet was born in Rize, and worked as a coast guard and sea captain. Tenzile was born in the Güneysu district, Turkey. President Erdoğan grew up in Rize, Turkey, and moved back to Istanbul at age thirteen.

He is married to Emine Erdoğan, with whom he has four children.

In 2003, during a visit to Georgia, President Erdoğan said:

I am also a Georgian. Our family is a Georgian family that emigrated from Batumi to Rize.

In 2014, he withdrew the statement, saying that he is of Turkish descent, and not Georgian.

Batumi is a city located in Georgia, on the Black Sea coast, near the Turkish border. Rize is located in northeastern Turkey, also on the Black Sea coast. President Erdoğan’s maternal grandfather lived in Bagat/Bakata, a village close to Batumi, Georgia, and might have had Laz ancestry. He emigrated to Rize, Turkey, after Batumi became a part of the Russian Empire. The Laz are a Kartvelian ethnic group closely related to Georgians, native to the Black Sea coastal region in Turkey and Georgia, the area where President Erdoğan’s ancestors were from.


2 Responses

  1. Hadnodiner says:

    Correction *Georgian

  2. phaedra says:

    What is it with some Turks and their protruding eyes (eyeballs)? (i.e. Mesut Ozil)

    Usually, they’re very attractive, but I noticed this “trend” among some of them.

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