Suat Hayri Ürgüplü

Başbakan, Diplomat, Devlet Adamı, Hukukçu, Siyasetçi

13 Ağustos, 1903
26 Aralık, 1981
Istanbul University Faculty of Law

Statesman and politician, prime minister, jurist, diplomat (B. 13 August 1903, Damascus/ Syria – D. 26 December 1981, Istanbul). He was descendent of Nevşehirli Damad Ibrahim Pasha who was grand vizier during the Tulip Period (1718-30). His father was Ürgüplü Hayri Efendi, who was a religious scholar worked as Shaykh-al-Islam during the last period of the Ottoman Empire and also the Shaykh-al-Islam of the Ottoman Empire who gave the fatwa to enter the First World War (1914-18). He graduated from Istanbul University Law School in 1926 after graduating from Galatasaray High School. He served in various government services. During the first periods of civil service, he worked as a translator (1925-1929) at Turkish- Greek Exchange of Populations Arbitration Court that was established after Liberation War, worked as a judge at Istanbul Commercial Court for three years (1929-1932), worked in various civil courts until 1929, worked as Public Agency of Turkey and Treasury translator.

Suat Hayri Bey went into political life in 1939 and elected as a deputy at the Period VI and served the Parliament as Kayseri Deputy in 1939 and 1943. He took part in the second government formed by Şükrü Saraçoğlu as Minister of Customs and Monopolies. When the rumors about the corruption of coffee import were spread during his ministerial term, he acted exemplarily and announced that he resigned from being Minister by these words: “A committee about the coffee corruption, in which also my name got involved, has been set up in my ministry. In order to have this committee of inspection work in soundness I must leave my duty as minister, otherwise, I might influence the committee and healthy decision may not be made.  Because of that reason, I resign from being a Minister as a requirement of political ethics.

Ürgüplü entered the parliament again by being elected in 1950 general elections as Kayseri Deputy of Democrat Party (DP). He worked as vice president at Consultative Council of Europe until 1952 while performing his duty as deputy. He quitted the parliament in 1952 as he was appointed as Bonn Ambassador by government of Adnan Menderes. He was appointed as London ambassador in 1955, Washington ambassador in 1959, and Madrid ambassador in 1960. He was tried and absolved by Supreme Criminal Court that was established after 27 May (1960) military coup to judge the DP members. In 1961, he was elected as Senator of Kayseri from the list of Justice Party (AP) and appointed as the first president of the Senate of the Republic. He served as Contingency Senator between 1966 and 1972.

The country had no government again when the İsmet İnönü government was defeated in a vote of the budget on 13 February 1965. The President of the Republic Cemal Gürsel wanted this gap to be filled straight away. Because Süleyman Demirel, who was the chairmen of the largest political party, was not admitted to prime ministry, other leaders had to keep silent at the summit in Çankaya. In fact, after looking for a prime minister for three days, President of the Senate of the Republic Suat Hayri Ürgüplü was assigned to form the government. This government was established as an executive organ to carry the country to healthy general elections in those involved days of transition period. Ürgüplü was aware of the purpose of establishing the coalition government, which mostly consisted of AP members, on 20 February 1965. For this reason, he didn’t do anything concrete or visible. However, as a master mason, Suat Hayri Ürgüplü made a great contribution to expansion of Masonic lodges in Turkey during his short prime ministry period. The lifetime of Suat Hayri Ürgüplü Government, which was a transition period government, was very short. Ürgüplü Government, which could go on for six months, decided to go for an election on 25 September 1965.  

Suat Hayri Ürgüplü passed the baton to the new government that was formed by AP Chairman Süleyman Demirel, which was the party that came first in 1965 General Elections, on 27 October 1965.  Ürgüplü, who was selected as Appointed Senator of Presidency in 1966, continued to serve in his position until 1972. Although upon the resignation of Prof. Nihat Erim he became a prime ministerial candidate again during his tenure as Appointed Senator, he could not form the government.

On 26 December 1981, Ürgüplü, who was interested in athletics by doing sports at Galatasaray Sports Club, died of heart disease that he suffered from for many years and was interred at Edirnekapı Martyr’s Cemetery. His son Hayri Suat Ürgüplü from his wife Nigar Hanım, with whom he married in 1933, married to Princess Fazıla, who was the fiancée of Faisal, the Former King of Iraq and also the daughter of Princess Hanzade, who was granddaughter of the last Ottoman Padishah Vahdeddin. He has two grandchildren of this marriage. 



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