Turkey's Mystery Man

How Islamic is Istanbul's new power broker?

The Turkish politician Recep Tayyip Erdogan does not look like a man so dangerous as to have been accused of "inciting religious hatred." His comfortably furnished offices in Ankara look more like a banker's suite than a fundamentalist's den. Impressionist prints adorn the walls, along with a portrait of Turkey's fiercely secular founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. There isn't a prayer bead in sight. "I am a Muslim," the beardless Erdogan, 48, dressed in a pressed blue suit and red tie, said in a recent interview with Time. "But I believe in a secularist state."

So he claims. But the dramatic...

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