Turkish President on TIME’s 2016 list of 100 Most Influential People


Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been named as one of the world’s most influential people, according to TIME magazine. The annual list of movers and shakers, viewed through an American lens, includes political, business and religious leaders, alongside artists, athletes, activists and scientists.

Each year for the past 13 years, TIME magazine has released a list of people who it claims has left an indelible mark – good or bad – on the world during the previous 12 months. Split into five categories – Pioneers, Titans, Artists, Leaders and Icons – they include celebrities, as well as lesser known personalities.

While there is no hard science behind the compilation of the list, the American current affairs publication does use a range of measures to help them make their selection: people who’ve made critical innovations or broken world records, or had the most number of Google News mentions or Facebook Likes.

TIME: ‘Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is a remarkable leader’

Recep_Tayyip_ErdoganRecep Tayyip Erdoğan is the sole Turkish entry, listed under the Leaders category , which also includes Canadian premier Justin Trudeau, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.

Details about the Turkish President were penned by Ian Bremmer, an American political scientist and foreign affairs columnist for TIME, who called Erdoğan a “remarkable leader”. 

Bremmer writes that Erdoğan has, “changed his country for the better by empowering millions of people who had never before participated in their nation’s political and economic life.” 

On the flipside, he also claims Turkey’s political giant is, “an egotistical and thin-skinned person whose thirst for power has imperilled freedom of speech in Turkey and pushed his country toward authoritarianism.”

UK PM David Cameron notably absent from list

Several British personalities made it into this year’s TIME Top 100, including singer Adele, actor Idris Elba, director and playwright Mark Ryland, and Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton. British Prime Minister David Cameron was notably absent.

40 female influencers made it on to this year’s list: US President hopeful Hilary Clinton, IMF managing director Christine Lagarde, and Ibtihaj Muhammad, an American sabre fencer who became the first hijab-wearing Muslim woman to qualify for the US Olympic Team.

Yayoi Kusama
Yayoi Kusama – TIME’s oldest influencer

The youngest influencer was American Olympic gold medal swimmer Katie Ledecky, who is aged just 19, while the oldest is 87-year-old Japanese artist and designer Yayoi Kusama.

In her introduction to the list of notables, TIME editor Nancy Gibbs said: “One way or another they each embody a breakthrough: they broke the rules, broke the record, broke the silence, broke the boundaries to reveal what we’re capable of.” 

“The people on the list, each in their own way, have lessons to teach. We can debate those lessons; we don’t have to endorse them or agree with them.” 

“But the influence of this year’s TIME 100, to my mind, is that down to the last person, they have the power to make us think – and they are using it.”