Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz presented Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan with one of the country's most prestigious prizes on Tuesday for his 'service to Islam'.
Erdogan earned the King Faisal International Prize for having "rendered outstanding service to Islam by defending the causes of the Islamic nation, particularly the Palestinian cause and the just rights of the Palestinian people," said Abdullah al-Uthaimin of the prize-awarding group.
"At the international level, he was a leading Muslim founder of the call for rapport between civilization and a passionate advocate of constructive dialogue, openness, and principles of international understanding and cooperation."
Seven academic researchers were also awarded King Faisal Prizes.
Algerian Abdurrahman Elhaj-Saleh and Lebanese Ramzi Baalbaki jointly earned the King Faisal Language and Literature prize for Arabic linguistic and grammatical research.
German Reinhold Ganz and Canadians Jean-Pierre Pelletier and Johanne Martel Pelletier shared the King Faisal Prize for Medicine for work on osteoarthritis.
U.S.-based mathematicians Enrico Bombieri and Terence Chi-Shen Tao split the King Faisal Science prize for their work in theoretical mathematics.