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What Is Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Net Worth and Salary?
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is a Turkish politician who has a net worth of $500 million. As head of state his annual salary is equal to $65 thousand USD. He was broke when entering politics decades ago, yet somehow both Recep and his family have acquired valuable assets that are reportedly hidden in overseas trusts located on the Isle of Man.
Michael Rubin, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, has reported that Erdoğan is a “billionaire many times over” in several exposé articles about the politician’s mysterious and sudden extreme personal and familial wealth.
Erdoğan became the 12th President of Turkey in August 2014. He is a member of the Justice and Development Party and has also been a member of the National Salvation Party, Welfare Party, and Virtue Party. From March 2003 to August 2014, Recep was a Member of the Grand National Assembly. He served as the 28th Mayor of Istanbul from March 1994 to November 1998, and from March 2003 to August 2014, he served as the 25th Prime Minister of Turkey. Erdoğan became the leader of the Justice and Development Party in May 2017. At one point, he was stripped of being the Mayor of Istanbul and imprisoned for four months because he recited a poem promoting a religious point of view of government.
Erdoğan Family Wealth
Erdoğan was famously broke before he entered politics. In 2011 and 2012, during the time he was serving as Prime Minister, he transferred at least $15 million into offshore trusts. His net worth today is reportedly in the hundreds of millions or billion dollar range. Recep has dubiously explained his newfound wealth as being a gift from his son. In 2004, soon after being elected Prime Minister, a US diplomatic cable reported that Erdoğan controlled “at least 8 Swiss bank accounts.” In 2016, German newspaper “Bild” conducted an investigation that found that Recep’s son Ahmet has a net worth of $80 million without a clear source. The same paper reported how Recep’s youngest son, Bilal, is frequently “connected to shady criminal deals.” An intercepted phone call reportedly overhead Erdoğan instructing a bank to “to liquidate perhaps a billion dollars in cash.” In 2017, a European news outlet called theblacksea.eu conducted an investigation which found that the Erdoğan family controls at least three trusts located on the Isle of Man. The same publication showed evidence that the family controls $25 million worth of oil assets. In 2018, Recep appointed himself as the head of Turkey’s $40 billion sovereign wealth fund. His son-in-law, Berat Albayrak, serves as his deputy in the fund, in addition to being the nation’s Finance Minister and Oil Minister.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was born on February 26, 1954, in Kasımpaşa, Istanbul, Turkey. He is the son of Ahmet and Tenzile Erdoğan, who passed away in 1988 and 2011, respectively, and he has two younger siblings, Mustafa and Vesile. He also had two older half-brothers, Hasan and Mehmet, from Ahmet’s marriage to Havuli Erdoğan. During his early childhood, Recep’s family lived in Rize, where his father served as a captain in the Turkish Coast Guard. When Erdoğan was 13, the family moved back to Istanbul , and as a teenager, he sold postcards that he had bought with his weekly allowance. He was also a street vendor, selling sesame bread rings known as simit. Recep played football during his youth, and the local football stadium is now called Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Stadium in his honor. Recep attended Kasımpaşa Piyale primary school and the religious high school İmam Hatip, graduating in 1973. He was involved with the National Turkish Student Union, and he won a poetry-reading contest that was sponsored by the Community of Turkish Technical Painters. Erdoğan later attended Eyüp High School because the university he wanted to go to, Mekteb-i Mülkiye, did not accept İmam Hatip graduates. Recep’s official biography states that he graduated from the Aksaray School of Economics and Commercial Sciences, where he studied Business Administration, but several sources dispute that he attended the school at all.
From 1976 to 1980, Erdoğan served as Head of the National Salvation Party (MSP) Beyoğlu Youth Branch and MSP İstanbul Youth Branch, then he worked as a senior executive and consultant in the private sector when political parties shut down as a result of the 1980 military coup. In 1984, he was elected the Beyoğlu District Head of the newly-formed Welfare Party, and the following year, he became the İstanbul Provincial Head of the Welfare Party and joined the party’s Central Executive Board. During his time as İstanbul Provincial Head, Recep encouraged women and youths to get involved in politics. In March 1984, he was elected Mayor of Metropolitan İstanbul, and he was sentenced to prison for reading a Ziya Gökalp poem that was considered “an incitement to violence and religious or racial hatred” at an event in December 1997. Erdoğan spent four months in prison and was released in July 1999. In 2001, Recep and some of his friends founded the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), and he was elected Founding General Chair of the party. He became Prime Minister of Turkey in 2003, and according to his official bio, “the country made great progress in democratization, transparency and the prevention of corruption.” In 2014, he became the first person to be elected President of Turkey by the popular vote, and in 2017, he was elected Chairman of the AK Party. Erdoğan was re-elected President in 2018 with 52.59% of the vote.
Recep married Emine Gülbaran in July 1978, and they have four children, sons Ahmet Burak (born 1979) and Necmettin Bilal (born 1981) and daughters Esra (born1983) and Sümeyye (born 1985).
Honors and Accolades
Erdoğan has received honorary doctorates from more than 40 universities, including the University of Aleppo, Istanbul University, Moscow State University, Shanghai International Studies University, University of Algiers, Qatar University, International University of Sarajevo, and Mukogawa Women’s University. He has been honored with Russia’s Medal “In Commemoration of the 1000th Anniversary of Kazan” (2006), Georgia’s Order of Golden Fleece (2010), Kazakhstan’s Order of the Golden Eagle (2012), Afghanistan’s Amir Amanullah Khan Award (2014), Belgium’s Grand Cordon in the Order of Leopold (2015), Tunisia’s Grand Cordon in the Order of the Republic (2017), Senegal’s National Order of the Lion, Paraguay’s Order of State (2018), Ukraine’s Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise (2020), and Turkmenistan’s Order for Contribution to the Development of Cooperation (2021).
Recep received the Academy of Achievement’s Golden Plate award in 2004 and Fondazione Mediterraneo’s Mediterranean Award for Institutions in 2005, followed by the Caspian Energy Integration Award and Red Crescent Outstanding Service award in 2006. In 2009, he was presented with a key to the City of Tirana (Albania) and the Turgut Özal Thought and Move Association’s Award for Contribution to World Peace. Erdoğan has also received the King Faisal International Prize (2010), United Nations–HABITAT award (2010), Brazilian Federation of Industry medal of honor (2010), World Health Organization World No Tobacco Award (2010), Kosovo’s Golden Medal of Independence (2010), Union of Arab Banks’ Leader of the Year award (2010), and Palestinian International Award for Excellence and Creativity (2011).
Erdoğan owns an 85,000 square meter vacation home in Marmaris, Turkey, that is reportedly worth $73 million. His main home is said to be worth $615 million.