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 ruled Turkey for twenty years, having been President of Turkey, since 28 August, 2014, as well as, Prime Minister of Turkey, from 14 March, 2003 to 28 August, 2014. He has also been Mayor of Istanbul, from 27 March, 1994 to 6 November, 1998, Leader of the Justice and Development Party, since 21 May, 2017, and, previously, from 14 August, 2001 to 27 August, 2014; and Chairman of the Organization of Turkic States, from 12 November, 2021 to 11 November, 2022.

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

He is married to Emine Erdoğan (born Emine Gülbaran), with whom he has four children, businessperson Ahmet Burak Erdoğan, who owns MB Denizcilik; businessperson Bilal Erdoğan; sociologist Esra Erdoğan; and businessperson and activist Sümeyye Erdoğan. Esra is married to politician Berat Albayrak, who has been Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Minister of Treasury and Finance. Sümeyye is married to pilot and engineer Selçuk Bayraktar. His sons-in-law have also worked in business.

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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