Archive | For 20 years, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has ruled Turkey

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Archives | For 20 years, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan leads Turkey

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been in power in Turkey for 20 years.

On March 14, 2003, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan became Prime Minister of Turkey. In two decades, he significantly changed the orientation of the Turkish state. His 20 years in office have also produced a mixed record that raises many questions.

“Turkey has no intention of questioning the secular society or its candidacy for the European Union. The leader of the moderate Islamist party, which won an outright majority in yesterday's election, was quick to reassure not only Europe but also his wary fellow citizens. »

— Stéphan Bureau, anchor of Téléjournal/Le Point

Report by journalist Danielle Levasseur on the 2002 Turkish parliamentary elections

On November 4, 2002, as Stéphan Bureau points out, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Justice and Development Party overwhelmingly won the legislative elections in Turkey.

The news aroused a lively interest, tinged with concern, at home and abroad.

It should be remembered that the attacks of September 11, 2001 took place barely 14 months ago.

However, as the report by journalist Danielle Levasseur reminds us, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his party designate themselves as moderate Islamists.

In 1923, Muslim Turkey became, under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, a secular republic.

Many people in Turkish society are attached to the legacy of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. It is feared that Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's ultimate goal is to dismantle it.

Victorious, the former mayor of Istanbul is reassuring.

He assures that he will not touch the legacy of Atatürk or secularism as a principle of governance of the country.

In November 2002, as Danielle Levasseur recalls, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan cannot become head of government despite his resounding success.

Having been imprisoned for remarks deemed seditious, he is banned from sitting in the Turkish Parliament.

However, this is a prerequisite for being appointed prime minister, according to the law of the land.

Report by journalist Guy Lapointe on the appointment of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as Prime Minister of Turkey

However, the problem was quickly solved, as this report by journalist Guy Lapointe on March 9, 2003 evokes.

With its overwhelming majority in Parliament, the Justice and Development Party revokes the ineligibility of its leader.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will no longer have to pull the strings of power from backstage. He became Prime Minister on March 14, 2003.

His arrival at the head of the government inaugurated changes that were initially gradual but increasingly pronounced as the years passed.

“Prime Minister Erdoğan's party has been in power in Turkey since 2002. Its opponents accuse it of questioning the very strict secular foundations and principles of the Turkish Republic. »

— Luc Chartrand

In 2007, four years after Recep Tayyip Erdoğan came to power, special envoy Luc Chartrand was in Istanbul, from where it covers the early elections in Turkey.

Report by Special Envoy Luc Chartrand on the early elections in Turkey

In his report broadcast on Téléjournal on July 18, 2007, Luc Chartrand observes the polarization that characterizes the Turkey of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

On the one hand, we find the Prime Minister's adversaries.

They show no sign of religious life and oppose any reform that would lead to an Islamization of Turkey.

In April and May 2007, they stormed the street by the thousands to oppose the will of the prime minister to impose an Islamist president at the head of the Turkish Republic.

On the other hand, we meet the defenders of the first minister.

They consider that the process of Islamization is too timid and that Recep Tayyip Erdoğan should go further.

The Prime Minister's supporters would particularly like veiled women to have the right to go to study in universities or to access positions in the civil service.

Secularists maintain that it is secular values ​​that have allowed democracy to develop in Turkey.

As of 2012, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan makes more reference to Islam.

In 2014 and 2015, he passed new laws that allow the wearing of religious symbols in the public service.

Islamization is accompanied of an increasingly marked authoritarian drift.

On July 15, 2016, elements of the army in favor of secularism attempted a coup d'etat.

Report by special envoy Anyck Béraud on the aftermath of the failed coup attempt in Turkey

The attempt failed and, as shown in this report by special correspondent Anyck Béraud presented to Téléjournal on July 17, 2016, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan took the opportunity to crush the opposition.

Claudine Bourbonnais hosted Téléjournal that day.

Thousands of soldiers and civil servants are purged from the army and the civil service.

The one who, meanwhile. became President of the Republic promises to continue the fight against an opposition that he declares to be a cancer in society.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is even considering restoring the death penalty.

As for the supporters of secularism, they are in complete disarray in the face of the contradiction of a putsch carried out to save Turkish democracy.

Since 2016, Turkey's strongman has been regularly accused of behaving more and more like a dictator.

Another accusation dramatically arose in 2023.

Report by Special Envoy Marie-Ève ​​Bédard on criticism of the Turkish government following the February 2023 double earthquake

In a report broadcast on Téléjournal on February 8, 2023, special envoy Marie-Ève ​​Bédard notes that the aftermath of the earthquake that recently devastated Turkey is undermining the popularity of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The population denounces in particular the slowness of the aid provided by the Turkish State to the victims of the double earthquake of February 2023.

The president is also singled out for corruption in the sector of the construction of the building, which is said to be largely responsible for the scale of the number of victims.

These criticisms come at a bad time for Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Presidential elections, scheduled in Turkey for May 14, 2023, could cost him his job, according to the latest surveys of opinion.

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