10 images to mark Erdoğan’s first year as president
Turkey's President Tayyip Erdoğan leaves a funeral as he is surrounded by security guards, politicians and officials at Kocatepe Mosque in Ankara, Turkey, August 26, 2015. REUTERS/Umit Bektas1) 16 Turkish warriors in the palace
On Jan. 12, Erdoğan started to welcome his visitors at the controversial presidential palace with actors dressed in the military costumes of 16 states founded throughout history by Turks. Social media went crazy with this “surreal” image.
2) Campaigning with the Quran in hand
Erdoğan was seen holding a Kurdish language Quran during several of his speeches in southeastern Turkey ahead of the June 7 election. Opposition parties accused him of mixing religion with politics, as well as violating the constitutionally non-partisan position of the presidency by taking the side of the Justice and Development Party (AKP).
3) The Gallipoli video tribute
On April 20, Erdoğan stirred a heated debate in Turkey by reading an Islamic-toned, patriotic poem in a television commercial filmed to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Turkish victory in the Gallipoli campaign during World War I.
4) Poking a bird
Moments after one partridge insisted on perching upon his head, Erdoğan was photographed while poking a caged pigeon with his umbrella in the Black Sea province of Rize, where he visited on Aug. 14. “Oh yeah, poke him too, don’t leave anyone at peace in the whole country,” the most popular tweet of the day had said.
5) Meeting Baykal
After staying off-air for more than four days in an unusual move following the AKP’s loss of its single-party majority in the June 7 election, Erdoğan was seen surprisingly calm and happy when he met Deniz Baykal, the former chair and current deputy of the Republican People’s Party (CHP).
6) Scolding smokers
“You see, this guy is just sitting there and keeps smoking even after the president tells him not to,” Erdoğan was heard saying when he took time out of a stroll through Istanbul’s Esenler district on Nov. 2 to take umbrage with a man smoking a cigarette in a nearby café.
7) Hat-trick in 15 minutes
Erdoğan’s term as prime minister was as interesting as his presidency. As a former professional footballer, he had managed to score three spectacular goals in 15 minutes when he rolled back the years on July 27, 2014, during an exhibition match to open Istanbul’s newest stadium.
8) The Soma protests
After the Soma mining disaster on May 13, 2014, Erdoğan became the target of a large crowd, just as it happened during the Gezi protests a year before. A video showing Erdoğan following a protester amid an angry crowd into a supermarket before allegedly slapping him went viral.
9) An exhausted voice
Erdoğan had to cancel his electoral rallies in March 2014, after his busy campaign program took an audible toll on his voice.
10) Light balls away
Erdoğan presented another image that was described by some social media users as “surreal” when he threw light balls as gifts to his supporters in Istanbul in a campaign rally 11 days before the March 30 local elections in 2014.