Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan waves to the crowd in Istanbul August 10, 2014. REUTERS/Osman Orsal
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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who will be Turkey's next president thanks to an easy election victory, came from humble beginnings, but has become one of the most significant but controversial leaders in the Islamic world.Erdogan, who has served as premier since 2003, is lauded by his supporters as a transformative figure who modernized Turkey and delivered power back to the people from the secular and military elite.There is no doubt that Erdogan has his eye on history and wants to be ranked with Turkey's post-Ottoman founding father Mustafa Kemal Ataturk as one of the great transformative figures in its modern history.Erdogan, a towering figure of almost two meters tall, is known to followers as the "buyuk usta" – the "big master". It was there Erdogan also met his wife Emine, who has been a constant presence throughout his political career.Erdogan has faced the worst crisis of his rule as prime minister over the past year, weathering massive anti-government protests, an explosive corruption scandal and a stuttering economy.
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