Ankara: Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been ranked in first place in the 2019 edition of the World’s 500 Most Influential Muslims. The book is prepared annually by the Jordan-based Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre. It noted that Erdoğan became Turkey’s first popularly-elected president in August 2014 and then secured a second term in the 2018 election with 52.5 per cent of the vote.
The publication also observed that Turkey has undergone “constitutional reform and a re-emergence as a major global power” during Erdogan’s terms. Mentioning the achievements of Erdogan, the report said that under Erdogan’s leadership, Turkey has focused on building stronger relations with all of its seven land-contiguous neighbours, especially Greece, and also all of those countries bordering the Black Sea.
Over 20 new embassies and consulates have been opened up in Africa. Erdoğan not only gave aid but also became the first leader from outside Africa to visit Somalia in nearly two decades, when Somalia suffered from a crippling famine and drought in 2011.
While Erdoğan was ranked 8th in 2016 and 2017, and 5th in 2018 in the book’s editions belonging to previous years, in 2019 he ranked first while Saudi King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud was ranked second in being the most influential Muslim and Jordanian King Abdullah II Ibn Al-Hussein was ranked third.