Since he took office in 2003, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has given a name to each stage in his consolidation of power in Turkey. First he called himself the apprentice; then the journeyman; and latterly the master. Now, he says a new five-year term would elevate him to the role of "grandmaster" and help him make Turkey one of the world's top powers by the time the republic marks its centenary in 2023.
The most powerful and polarizing leader in Turkish history, Erdogan, 64, is standing for re-election in a presidential vote on Sunday. He would take an office with vastly expanded powers, in a system that critics have compared to one-man rule. His opponents have promised a return to a parliamentary system with a distinct separation of powers.
Erdogan, who has never lost an election, is this time around facing more robust opposition figures and parties cooperating with each other in an anti-Erdogan alliance. For the first time ever, Turkey will elect a new parliament at the same time.