"A former football player" who "Worked in the food sector". Thus is presented Recep Tayyip Erdogan, candidate for mayor of Istanbul for the Prosperity Party, close to the Islamists, March 12, 1994. One small line, because it is on another candidate that the journalist Nicole Pope has worn his attention and, one guesses it, his hopes: that of the left, Zülfü Livaneli, "Singer, composer and filmmaker". The correspondent notes of course "The rise of Islamists, who also benefit from the disenchantment of the Turks against the patronage of traditional political parties"but she wants to believe in another way out.
Carried at the head of Istanbul on March 27, 1994, Erdogan does not reveal however the scarecrow announced. "The election of an Islamist mayor caused a stir in secular circles and fueled many rumors: a large mosque was to be built in the middle of Taksim Square, brothels and cafes would be closed, women forced to traveling in separate buses », laughs almost Nicole Pope, on June 6, 1996, to note that it did not happen anything of it. "The critics of the party are forced to admit that the city hall (…) does his job pretty well. " A pragmatic statement and a reassuring tone that will dominate the first articles devoted to the mayor of Istanbul.
The first concerns
So that when his party, which became the AKP, wins the legislative elections in 2002, the editorial of the World do not scream at the wolf. «Recep Tayyip Erdogan (…) nothing of a fundamentalist mullah. At 48, this former mayor of Istanbul, still strapped in a flawless suit and tie, refuses the term Islamist. (…) The AKP (…) does not have sharia for program. " A necessary focus in a post-9-11 world that is quick to embrace the clash of civilizations. What's playing "Goes beyond the framework of Turkey", emphasizes the editorial. "The AKP has the historic responsibility to show the compatibility of Islam with democracy (…) The lesson will be for the Arab world. " And one feels in the newspaper of those years the will to believe it.