Süleyman Demirel 9th President of the Republic of Turkey In office
16 May 1993 – 16 May 2000
Prime Minister Tansu Çiller
Preceded by Turgut Özal Succeeded by Ahmet Necdet Sezer Prime Minister of Turkey In office
20 November 1991 – 16 May 1993
President Turgut Özal Preceded by Mesut Yılmaz Succeeded by Erdal Inönü In office
12 November 1979 – 12 September 1980
President Fahri Korutürk Preceded by Bülent Ecevit Succeeded by Bülent Ulusu In office
21 July 1977 – 5 January 1978
President Fahri Korutürk Preceded by Bülent Ecevit Succeeded by Bülent Ecevit In office
31 March 1975 – 21 June 1977
President Fahri Korutürk Preceded by Sadi Irmak Succeeded by Bülent Ecevit In office
27 October 1965 – 16 March 1971
President Cemal Gürsel
Preceded by Suat Hayri Ürgüplü Succeeded by Nihat Erim Personal details Born November 1, 1924
Nationality Turkish Political party Justice Party, True Path Party (now Democratic Party) Spouse(s) Nazmiye Demirel Alma mater Istanbul Technical University
Sami Süleyman Gündoğdu Demirel, better known as Süleyman Demirel (Turkish pronunciation: [sylejˈman demiˈɾel]; born 1 November 1924), is a Turkish politician who served as Prime Minister seven times and was the ninth President of Turkey.
Demirel was born in İslamköy, a town in Isparta Province. Upon completion of his elementary school education in his hometown, he attended middle school and high school in Isparta and Afyon, respectively. He graduated from the school of civil engineering at the Istanbul Technical University in 1949. Demirel worked in the state department for electrical power planning in 1949. He undertook postgraduate studies on irrigation, electrical technologies and dam construction in the United States, first in 1949-1950, then in 1954-1955. During the construction of the Seyhan Dam, Demirel worked as a project engineer and in 1954 was appointed Head of the Department of Dams. As of 1955, he served as Director General of the State Hydraulic Works (DSİ). In this capacity, Demirel was to supervise the construction of a multitude of dams, power plants, and irrigation facilities.
After the 1960 coup d'état, he was drafted to the Turkish Army for compulsory military service. Upon completion of his military service, he worked as a freelance engineer and a representative of Morrison Construction, a U.S. company. During this period, he also worked as a part-time lecturer of hydraulic engineering at the Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) in Ankara.
His political career started with his election to the executive board of the Justice Party founded by the former General Ragıp Gümüşpala, as directed by the Head of State Cemal Gürsel as the replacement of the Democrat Party that was closed after the military coup of 27 May 1960. Journalist and MP Cihat Baban claims in The Gallery of Politics (Politika Galerisi), that Cemal Gürsel told him:
“ We may solve all troubles if Süleyman Demirel can become the head of the Justice Party (Adalet Partisi). I am working very hard for him to become the party leader. If I succeed in this, I will be happy. ”
Demirel was elected Chairman at the second grand party convention on 28 November 1964. He facilitated the formation of a coalition government that ruled between February and October 1965 under the premiership of Suat Hayri Ürgüplü, in which he served as Deputy Prime Minister. Under his leadership, the AP won an unprecedented majority of the votes in the elections of 10 October 1965 and formed a majority government. Demirel thus became the youngest-ever Prime Minister in Turkish history, and the second democratically-elected Prime Minister after Adnan Menderes who had won elections three times in the 1950s, but was executed after a military coup d'état in 1960.
As deputy from Isparta, Demirel became Turkey’s 12th Prime Minister and ruled the country for four years. In the next elections on 10 October 1969, his party was the sole winner by a landslide once again. He resigned after the military memorandum of 12 March 1971. He was not able to win the elections that were held in 1973 and 1977; however, between 1971 and 1980, he served as Prime Minister for three more times, albeit with coalition partners, during 1975-1977, 1977–1978, and 1979–1980, respectively.
After the 1980 coup
Following the coup d'état of 12 September 1980, headed by Kenan Evren, he was banned from involvement in active politics for ten years. In 1986, however, Demirel launched a national campaign for the lifting of the bans and initiated a national referendum on the issue.
The 6 September 1987 referendum allowed him to return to active politics. Only 18 days later, Demirel was elected Chairman at the extraordinary convention of the True Path Party (DYP) that replaced the Adalet Partisi. He was re-elected Deputy of Isparta at the elections of 29 November 1987.
Following the elections of 20 October 1991, Demirel became Prime Minister once again in a coalition government with the Social Democratic People's Party.
On 10 March 1995, he became aware of a coup attempt against President Heydar Aliyev of Azerbaijan (prepared by his predecessor Ebulfeyz Elçibey) with the assistance of the Turkish intelligence and security agencies, and warned Aliyev.
Demirel was able to keep his position as President when he collaborated with the military during the 1997 "post-modern coup" in Turkey. He served as President until 16 May 2000, for the constitutional term of seven years.
During his service for the development and industrialization of the country as a director general at the age of 30, and a political party chairman and the youngest Turkish prime minister at the age of 40, his overall tenure was shorter than only İsmet İnönü's.
Following retirement from politics, Demirel has frequently been a panelist and speaker at several universities in Turkey.
Süleyman Demirel is married to Nazmiye Demirel, the couple have no children.
The Süleyman Demirel Airport and Süleyman Demirel University, both of which are in Isparta are named after him. So are the Süleyman Demirel Stadium in Antalya and the Süleyman Demirel Medical Centre of the Atatürk University in Erzurum. There are also two important main streets named after him: one in Istanbul and the other in Muğla.
Demirel was awarded with Istiglal Order for his contributions to development of Azerbaijan–Turkey relations and constructive position on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, creation of unity among Turkic states by President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev on 12 June 1999. He is also a Collar of the Estonian Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana, a recipient of the Polish Order of the White Eagle (1993) and a Knight Grand Cross of the Croatian Grand Order of King Tomislav.
In popular culture
Demirel is nicknamed Baba (The Father) or Çoban Sülü (The Shepherd Sülü (Süleyman)) and humorously Spartacus, after his native city Isparta. His fedora hat is almost as famous as he is. Also, whenever there is political distress, Turkish media or his followers call on him with the words "Kurtar bizi baba". ( Father, save us.) He is well known for his phrases, such as "Dün dündür, bugün bugündür" ( Yesterday is yesterday, today is today). He usually says this phrase when he changes his stand on a subject. "Benzin vardı da biz mi içtik?" ( Did we drink the gasoline, as if there was any?) He explains that he is not responsible for the gas shortages in '70s.
- ^ Kahraman, A., Islamkoylu Suleyman, Ankara 1998, ISBN No: 9755840141
- ^ Mercan, Faruk (2007-02-12). "Karadayı ikili oynamadı muhtemel darbeyi önledi" (in Turkish). Aksiyon (Feza Gazetecilik A.Ş.) 636. http://www.aksiyon.com.tr/detay.php?id=26705. Retrieved 2009-01-06. [dead link]
- ^ a b "FACTBOX: Coups in Turkey over last 50 years". Reuters.com. 2008-10-17. http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUKTRE49G3B920081017. Retrieved 2009-01-06.
- ^ 1998 Report from the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, chapter II, "SUSURLUK SCANDAL: Counter-guerilla Affairs", p.39-86 (see p.47-49)
- ^ "Türkiyə Cümhuriyyətinin Prezidenti Süleyman Dəmirəlin "İstiqlal" ordeni ilə təltif edilməsi haqqında haqqında AZƏRBAYCAN RESPUBLİKASI PREZİDENTİNİN FƏRMANI [Order of the President of Azerbaijan Republic on awarding President of Turkey Suleyman Demiral with Istiglal Order]". http://e-qanun.az/print.php?internal=view&target=1&docid=5350&doctype=0. Retrieved 2011-01-20.
Party political offices Preceded by
Leader of theJustice Party
1964–12 Sep 1980
Ahmet Nusret Tuna of True Path Party and Turgut Özal of Anavatan Partisi
Leader of the True Path Party
Political offices Preceded by
Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey
20 Feb 1965–27 Oct 1965
Succeeded by Preceded by
Suad Hayri Ürgüplü
Prime Minister of Turkey
27 Oct 1965–26 Mar 1971
Prime Minister of Turkey
31 Mar 1975–21 Jun 1977
Prime Minister of Turkey
21 Jul 1977–5 Jan 1978
Prime Minister of Turkey
12 Nov 1979–12 Sep 1980
Prime Minister of Turkey
23 Jun 1991–25 Jun 1993
President of Turkey
Ahmet Necdet Sezer
Presidents of the Republic of Turkey (List) Prime Ministers of the Republic of Turkey (List) War of Independence
Republic of Turkey
(since 1923)İsmet İnönü · Fethi Okyar · İsmet İnönü · Celal Bayar · Refik Saydam · Şükrü Saracoğlu · Recep Peker · Hasan Saka · Şemsettin Günaltay · Adnan Menderes · Cemal Gürsel · İsmet İnönü · Suat Hayri Ürgüplü · Süleyman Demirel · Nihat Erim · Ferit Melen · Naim Talu · Bülent Ecevit · Sadi Irmak · Süleyman Demirel · Bülent Ecevit · Süleyman Demirel · Bülent Ecevit · Süleyman Demirel · Bülent Ulusu · Turgut Özal · Yıldırım Akbulut · Mesut Yılmaz · Süleyman Demirel · Tansu Çiller · Mesut Yılmaz · Necmettin Erbakan · Mesut Yılmaz · Bülent Ecevit · Abdullah Gül · Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Republic of Turkey
(since 1923, acting)
Leaders of the
Democratic Party/Justice Party/True Path Party/Democratic Party
(1961-1981)Ragıp Gümüşpala (1961-1964) · Süleyman Demirel (1964-1981)
True Path Party
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