and politician, 11th president of the Republic of Turkey,
academician. He was born in October 29, 1950, Kayseri. His full name is Abdullah Cumhur
Gül. Due to having been born on the Republic Day, he was named also as Cumhur.
The roots of his family go back to the 1200s. The family takes their surname
from one of the first imams of Gülük Mosque that was built by Seljuks in Kayseri. His grandfather
Hayrullah Efendi, who was a veteran of Turkish War of Independence, was engaged
father, Ahmet Hamdi Gül worked as a foreman at the Tayyare Fabrikası (Aircraft
Factory), which was the first industrial facility in Kayseri. He was a well-known and respected
figure for his contributions to social life of the town. His mother, Adviye Hanım,
whose father was a poet and a teacher, is a member of the Satoğlu family, an
old and established family in Kayseri.
There are many academicians, poets, writers and bureaucrats among the family
members. After his retirement in 1972, Mr. Ahmet Hamdi established his own business
and ran industrial business. He has another son and daughter.
graduated from Kayseri Gazi Paşa Primary School, Nazmi
School and Kayseri
High School –from which
many famous figures graduated; he registered to the Economics Faculty of Istanbul
University. Those years were the most dynamic ones for student movements. He
became the active part of the movement during his university years. He attended
the demonstrations and contributed to the magazines and newspapers of National
Turkish Students' Union (MTTB). The observations, experiences and friendships
he gained during those years influenced him for all his life.
graduating from economics department of Istanbul University,
to which he entered in 1974; he took his doctoral degree from the same
university in 1983. During his graduate education, he studied for two years in London and Exeter in the United Kingdom.
While pursuing an academic career, he collaborated in the establishment of the
Department for Industrial Engineering of Sakarya
University and taught management for five years to the engineering
students. In 1983, he went to Jeddah to work in the
Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Saudi
Arabia. Between 1983 and 1991, he
worked as an economist and lived with his family there for eight years. Thanks
to the experiences he gained due to his position and during his travels, he had
the chance to observe the economical, political and social situation and
structuring of the different countries closely. In 1989, he took PhD. degree in
Gül didn’t enter politics as the result of a planned step. While in Kayseri for his annual
vacation in the summer of 1991, the townspeople suggested him to enter
parliament to serve his country. He was elected to the Parliament from the Refah
Party in the first election in which he participated. From that day until he
was elected as the President of the Republic
of Turkey, he served as a
Kayseri Parliamentarian in the TBMM (T.N. Grand National Assembly) for five
terms. As a Parliamentarian, he had the chance to gain a greater understanding
the all the people.
from 1991, he was one of the parliamentarians representing Turkey at the
European Council. Besides being a parliamentarian, he served as a member of the
Plan and Budget Committee during his first term from 1991 to 1995 and as a
member of the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe from 1991 to 2002. He
worked in the culture, codes, politics and economical affairs of the committee.
He served as a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of TBMM from 1995 to
2001. Gül was the Spokesman and the Minister of State in the 54th
government formed in 1996. Before the closing of the Refah Party on 16 January
1998 by the supreme court; again, he entered to the Parliament as the Kayseri
Deputy of the Fazilet Party in the General Elections of 18th April
1999. During the years of the Refah Party-Doğruyol Party, while he was the
state minister; he was imposed a heavy fine by the 18th Civil Court
of First Instance due to a sue of the Refah Party.
to the ‘Reformist Movement’ in the Fazilet Party during the Congress of Fazilet
Party and became a candidate for the Chairmanship of the Party in 2000. After
the closing of the Fazilet Party on 22nd June 2001 by the Supreme
Court, he served as an independent parliamentarian, after a while he became one
of the active members of the Founders' Committee of the Ak Party, founded on 14th
August 2001. A summary of proceedings was prepared on him for the “the
missing trillions” case. But, he couldn’t be judged because of parliamentarian
immunity. A verdict of non-prosecution was given at the end of an investigation in 2010. He served as
the vice president of AKP and he was responsible from the political and legal
affairs. Between 2001 and 02, he became the member of Parliamentarians Council
of NATO. In 2002, Gül was awarded for his 10 years of valuable work in the Parliamentary
Assembly of the Council of Europe with the “Pro Merito” medal and the title of
“Permanent Honorary Member”.
commissioned actively and gained friendships in European Council
Parliamentarians Assembly, which is considered as the center of democracy.
Thanks to his ten years of experience there, his commitment to standards of
democracy and human rights were stiffened and he believed that these reforms
are non-negligible for Turkey.
This affected positively the beginning of a reform process in Turkey to
fulfill the EU’s political criteria.
coalition government of RP – DYP, founded on 28th June 1996, he
worked as the Spokesman and the Minister of State. During this period, he
exerted efforts to develop better relations with the Turkic world. During a
period that Turkey
was experiencing many political problems, he assumed a more active leadership
role in the party with his colleagues. As the leading figure of the so-called
‘Reformist Movement’, he became the presidential candidate on the General
Congress of Fazilet Party on 2000 opposing Necmettin Erbakan. Although he lost
the election by a very narrow margin, the outcome was considered a great
success in the political arena. The ‘Reformist Movement’ was a new and big
excitement for the Turkish political life for it was considered as a movement
that aimed at integrating with the world by protecting own values of the
Turkish people; adopting the superiority of democracy, human rights and the
law. This political movement was resulted with the establishment of Adalet ve
Kalkınma Party (T.N. Justice and Development Party) (AKP) in 2001.
the general elections on 3rd November 2002, because Tayyip Erdoğan, the
general president of AKP, was banned from politics, Abdullah Gül founded the 58th
Government as the prime minister on 18th November 2002. During his
short period of premiership, he faced difficult problems like Iraq and Cyprus. He implemented an
‘Economical Emergency Action Plan’. During the Iraq
crisis, he initiated the ‘Iraq's
Neighboring Countries Process’ that was an important step in the field. During
the by-election in Siirt, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was elected to parliament on 9th
March 2003. After this, Abdullah Gül resigned the prime ministry in 11th
March 2003. Following this, he served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and
Deputy Prime Minister during the 59th government that was under the
Prime Ministry of Recep Tayip Erdoğan. At the same time, he chaired the Supreme
Council for Countering Terrorism, the Reform Monitoring Group and headed the European
Union Negotiations Delegation.
Foreign Affairs Ministry of Abdullah Gül, EU reform process was accelerated and
on 3rd October 2005, the accession negotiations were officially
relations with both the Western and the Muslim world were improved; the
diplomatic ties with neighboring countries were strengthened and active roles
were assumed in international organizations during the course of Gül’s term. He
made a speech in May 2003, while in office as Minister of Foreign Affairs to
call for greater reforms within the Islamic world at the Organization of the
Islamic Conference Meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers in Tehran, a statement that was well received in
both the East and West.
AKP group meeting, Prime Minister Erdoğan announced that Gül was the Presidential
candidate on 24th April 2007. However, because of the interruption
of the presidential election process and the decision of TBMM to hold the
elections earlier; Gül was elected for a fifth term as a member of parliament
from Kayseri on
July 22nd, 2007. The first item of the agenda of the new parliament
was the Presidential election and Gül again became a candidate for the
presidency. On 28th August 2007, he was elected as the 11th
president by TBMM (T.N. the Grand National Assembly) of Turkey.
was given to a university in Kayseri.
He holds honorary degrees from Bulgaria Burgaz Hür (2003), UK Exeter (2005), Azerbaijan Baku
State (2007), Romania Dimitrie
Cantemir Christian (2008) and Kazan State (2009), India Amity (2010), Bangladesh Dakka
(2010), Pakistan Kaid-i Azam Universities (2010), Kyrgyzstan Yusuf Balasagun
National (2009), China Northwestern (2009) and Sincan (China)
Universities. He has been deemed worthy of “Knight Grand Cross of the Order of
the Bath” from UK
and “Grande Colar” from Portuguese and as well as the national decorations from
Italy, Qatar, Kuwait,
Cameroon and Saudi Arabia.
He was also awarded with the Chatham House Prize of 2010.
August 1980, he married Hayrünnisa Hanım and is the father of three children;
Ahmet Münir (1983), Kübra (1985) and Mehmet Emre (1991).
Following the Presidency elections held on August 10, 2014; he handed over his duty to Recep Tayyip Erdogan on August 28, 2014.