He sold cakes, was in jail, played football – Corriere.it

From our correspondent
Istanbul – Recep Tayyip Erdogan Face the challenge of a lifetime today. So charismatic, central, grouchy, that his supporters are afraid to contradict him, The Turkish president is a “self-made man”.. Born in the modest neighborhood of Kasimpasa, he first managed to become a mayor Istanbul (1994-1998), then Prime Minister (2003-2014) and finally the President.

Georgian origins

According to historian Hakan Yavuz, Erdoğan was born in Gunesu, in Rize Province, and his family later moved to the Kasimpasa district of Istanbul. His family is originally from Adjara, a region in Georgia. Erdogan himself admitted it in 2003 but later denied it.

Cake seller

He started working in Istanbul when he was still in elementary school. To contribute to the family economy, he took to the streets to sell similarTypical Turkish bread topped with sesame.

Islamic school

Erdogan studied at an Islamic school before attending Marmara University in Istanbul. In 2014, a reform was introduced that expanded the teaching of the Islamic religion to all schools, and also provided for the study of Arabic to allow students to understand the Qur’an.


His militancy began at the age of fifteen when he participated in the first demonstrations of the National Union of Turkish Students, an organization in which he quickly moved to positions of responsibility. During this period, he met his mentor Necmettin Erbakan, the founder of the National Order Party (MNP), which opposes Western Turkey.

the prison

In 1999, Erdogan was sentenced to 10 months in prison for “inciting religious hatred” after reading an Islamic poem that read: “Mosques are our barracks, domes are our helmets, minarets are our spears, and the believers are our soldiers.” He was released from prison after four months. Ironically, the banner of freedom of speech was one of its strengths in the early years. In fact, the republic’s founder, Kemal Ataturk, had imposed an exaggerated state secularism that, for example, prevented girls from attending university in veils.

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The Turkish president has a truly competitive career, having played for Erokspor, Camtli and then Iett Istanbul. He made his debut at the age of 15 with Erokspor, a club from his neighborhood in Istanbul, Kasimpasa. It is said that mother Tenzile was so proud of her athletic son that she carefully washed his pants and shirt while the father focused on his studies.

The first defeat

. He returned there in 1983 with another Islamist formation, Hezb al-Rafah (Welfare Party). In 1989 he was nominated for the first time as mayor of Istanbul for the Welfare Party (Welfare Party) but was defeated despite a good electoral result. He will have to wait until 1994 to become mayor with unexpected success. One of his actions as mayor was to ban the sale of alcohol in the city’s coffee shops.

The villa is on the sea

Now in the 1,125-room presidential palace in the heart of Ankara, Ceausescu’s twin in Bucharest, the president has resided in a very luxurious residence built for his family’s summer holidays. The complex is located on the southern coast of the Aegean Sea in Turkey, in Marmaris, and is the place from which he managed to escape in extreme extremes on the night of the failed coup in the summer of 2016. We are talking about a 300-room villa, built on an area as large as 130 football fields and costing Turkish taxpayers more of 60 million euros between 2018 and 2021.


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