The first Woman Prime Minister of Turkey. She was born on the 23rd of October 1944 in Istanbul. Her full name is Tansu Penbe Çiller and she is the only daughter of Bilecik ex-Governor Hüseyin Necati Çiller and Muazzez Çiller. She started primary school in Istanbul–Fındıklı İsmet İnönü Primary School but upon the assignment of her father Necati Bey to Bilecik as Governor she completed it in Bilecik Edebali Primary School. After graduating from American Girls College she completed her higher education in Robert College’s Economy Department. After marrying in 1963 Özer Uçuran (later Özer Çiller) she went to USA with him and completed her Master’s degree in New Hampshire University and her PhD in Connecticut University. After working in Yale University for a while she returned to Turkey and started to work in Boğaziçi University as an academic member. She became an associate professor in 1978 and a professor in 1983.
Tansu Çiller who worked in various universities including Boğaziçi University started her political career joining True Path Party in 1990. She was chosen as Parliament Member in 1991 General Elections and served three periods (19th, 20th and 21st periods) as Istanbul Parliament Member. She served as the Minister of Economy in the coalition government established with Sosyal Demokrat Party of People under the leadership of Süleyman Demirel. After Süleyman Demirel was chosen as President and left Prime Ministry, Tansu Çiller was elected as the President of Doğru Yol Party (DYP) in the General Assembly of 1993.
Between 1993 and 1996 she served as Prime Minister during three periods (50th-51st-52nd governmental periods) (25th June 1993 – 6th March 1996), and as Foreign Minister and Vice Prime Minister in the 54th government established under the leadership of Prof. Erbakan (28th June 1996 – 20th June 1997).
She put the 5 April decisions into practice in 1994 which would not be erased from memories for a long time. These decisions caused a heavy economic crisis in 1994, decrease of salaries, increasing unemployment, a serious devaluation and an inflation rate surpassing 100% for the country. The 3rd biggest devaluation of the Republic with a rate of 104% occurred in this period.
She caused the dismissal of the Refah-Yol government by taking action against the Prime Minister Erbakan during the antidemocratic “postmodern coup” against the government which occurred after the “Susurluk event” in 1997.
During the periods in which Çiller was Prime Minister, struggle against terrorism was not successful; on the contrary it became more violent. She signed Customs Union agreement with European Union which caused the increase of imported products of automotive industry. Individual application rights of all Turkish Republic citizens to the European Human Rights Court were recognized. When DYP could not surpass the limit in the early general elections of 2002 she left her position within the party and retreated from active politics. She left her place to Mehmet Ağar who would later be condemned due to Susurluk case. She is the mother of two children.
She has a work about economic issues titled “Dünyada ve Türkiye'de Kur Politikaları ve Sorunları” (1983).
REFERENCE: Akil Bilge - Nursel Erel / Tansu Çiller'in Siyaset Romanı (1994), Faruk Bildirici / Maskeli Leydi (1998), Turan Yavuz / İkinci Vatan Tansu Çiller’in ABD Macerası (1999), Osman İridağ / Çiller Güzelliği ile Kazandı (Aksiyon, 13 Mart 1999), Şakir Süter (Akşam, 17 Aralık 2002), Tansu Çiller, başkanlığa ağlayarak veda etti (Zaman, 15.12.2002), Sema Dülger / Babıali’nin Unutulmayan Duayenleri (2007), Tansu Çiller Gafları (webhatti.com, 08.08.2010), İhsan Işık / Ünlü Kadınlar (Türkiye Ünlüleri Ansiklopedisi, C. 6, 2013) - Encyclopedia of Turkey’s Famous People (2013).