Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has served as the President of Türkiye since August 10, 2014, and is the first President of the Republic of Türkiye elected by popular vote. He is also the founder and Chairman of the Justice and Development Party. The first major breakthrough in Mr. Erdoğan’s career was his election to the office of the Mayor of Metropolitan İstanbul. There, he addressed chronic problems facing the city, such as access to clean water, sanitation and traffic congestion. Prior to his presidency, he served as Prime Minister from 2003 to 2014. During his tenure, he addressed many issues ranging from democratisation to the economy; expanding the democratic rights of Kurds, Alawites and minorities in the country, as well as overseeing an increase in per capita income from $3,500 to almost $11,000. Leading a country in one of the most volatile regions of the world, he has been a staunch supporter of regional initiatives and reform in international institutions. President Erdoğan was sworn in on July 9, 2018, as the first President of the new Presidential System, which Türkiye adopted following a constitutional amendment approved by a referendum on April 16, 2017.