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President Erdogan

A Prime Minister Plans for the Presidency

Erdogan greets supporters in Istanbul, August 2014. Murad Sezer / Courtesy Reuters

Now that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has become the country's first popularly elected president, analysts are speculating about his next moves. Although Turkey’s president is formally only the head of state, the position will provide a platform from which Erdogan can influence policies and appointments. Moreover, he has said on multiple occasions that he will expand the powers of the office to their constitutionally mandated limit -- and then some.

Given his imperious attitude, Erdogan is often compared to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey. Although he occasionally consulted with advisers, Ataturk imposed sweeping changes through sheer force of will. Erdogan is just as determined. But he also has something Ataturk did not: the near-complete loyalty of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), which provides a ready mechanism for setting policy.

Although he is mentioned less often, another Turkish political figure offers an even better

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