Turkey's Prime Minister is a survivor. A devout Muslim and tough-talking former soccer player, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, 56, rose to prominence in 1994 as mayor of Istanbul a city on whose streets he once sold buns to make ends meet. He was stripped of office and imprisoned when he fell afoul of Turkey's secularist courts but re-emerged even more popular than before. Erdogan saw three political parties banned for Islamism although mainly Muslim, modern Turkey is strictly secular and took note, founding his Justice and Development Party on a pro-West, probusiness platform in 2001. First elected Prime Minister in 2003, he won re-election four years later and has used his second term to seek a sometimes controversial global role as spokesman for the Muslim world. He has become openly critical of Israel despite ties between the two nations has urged dealings with Hamas and opposes U.S. calls for sanctions on Iran. As the head of NATO's only Muslim member nation and a vibrant secular democracy, Erdogan has the potential to reshape a restive region.