Recep Tayyip Erdoğan - Personal Life and Education

Personal Life and Education

Erdoğan was born in the Kasımpaşa neighborhood of Istanbul to a family that had moved there from Rize Province. He said I'm a Georgian too, my family is Georgian family, migrated from Batumi to Rize. However, Cezmi Yurtsever, who is a retired high school teacher of history, claims Erdoğan actually descends from the family of Bagatlı Recep, a large Muslim Turkish family that was settled around Trabzon after Mehmed II's conquest of the city. Bagatlı Recep died in 1916 fighting against the invading Russian and Armenian forces. Lastly, Erdoğan explained his origin by referring to the archives of Ottoman Empire in a TV program on NTV in 2007, saying that Ben Müslümanım ve Türküm meaning I'm a Muslim and a Turk.

Erdoğan spent his early childhood in Rize, where his father was a member of the Turkish Coast Guard. The family returned to Istanbul when Erdoğan was 13 years old. As a teenager, he sold lemonade and sesame buns (simit) on the streets of Istanbul's rougher districts to earn extra money. Brought up in an observant Muslim family, he graduated from Kasımpaşa Piyale primary school in 1965 and from Istanbul Religious Vocational High School in 1973 (İmam Hatip school). He received his high school diploma from Eyüp High School. He studied Business Administration at Aksaray School of Economics and Commercial Sciences (now it is known as Marmara University's Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences).

In his youth, Erdoğan played semi-professional football at a local club. The stadium of the local football club of the district he grew up in, Kasımpaşa S.K. is named after him.

Erdoğan married Emine Gülbaran (b. 1955, Siirt), whom he met during a conference, on 4 July 1978. The couple have two sons (Ahmet Burak, Necmeddin Bilal) and two daughters (Esra, Sümeyye). His father, Ahmet Erdoğan, died in 1988. In 2011, Erdogan lost his 88-year-old mother Tenzile Erdoğan. Public figures from the worlds of politics, business, sports and media offered Erdogan their condolences for his mother’s death.

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