Süleyman Demirel

Cumhurbaşkanı, Ziraat Mühendisi, Devlet Adamı, Siyasetçi

01 Kasım, 1924
17 Haziran, 2015
Istanbul Technical University Faculty of Civil Engineering
Diğer İsimler
Sami Süleyman Gündoğdu Demirel

Politician and statesman, Prime Minister and 9th President of Turkey, engineer  (b. 1 November 1924, Isparta/Atabey/İslâmköy – d. 17 June 2015, Ankara). His full name is Sami Süleyman Gündoğdu Demirel. He completed his primary education in İslâmköy Primary School, secondary and high school education in Isparta and Afyon. He graduated in February 1949 from Istanbul Technical University Faculty of Civil Engineering. He started to work in the same year in the General Directorate of Electrical Resources Survey and Development Administration. For the first time between 1949 and 50, later between 1954-55 he received specialization training in United States of America about dams, watering and electrification. He became Head of the Department of Dams in 1954 and General Director for State and Hydraulic Works in 1955. Meanwhile he went to USA upon being chosen as a scholarship student by the Eisenhower Foundation. He worked as a freelance financial consultant - engineer between 1962 and 64. In the same years he gave lectures in Middle East Technical University about hydraulic engineering.

Süleyman Demirel started his political career in 1962 by being a member of General Administrative Board of Justice Party (AP). During the revolt of 20 May 1963 he resigned from his assignment in the party with the sentence “I’ll take my hat and leave”. He worked as a contractor and as the representative of the American Morrison company in Turkey until the death of the Leader of the Party, General Ragıp Gümüşpala. After being elected as the leader of this party on the 28th of November 1964 he took office as the Vice Prime Minister in the coalition government which was established with his contribution and ruled between February-October 1965. In the general elections of 10 October 1965 AP led by him received 52% of total votes and came to power alone. He joined the Parliament in these elections as Member of Parliament of Isparta and established the government as Turkey’s 12th Prime Minister. This government ruled for 4 years. Under the rule of the first Demirel government, the country shook up with 68’s student upheavals.

After the general elections of 10 October 1969 the Justice Party again came to power alone receiving 48% of total votes. Under the second Demirel government upheavals could not be prevented. On the other hand, due to a problem caused by the restoration of political rights of ex-members of Democratic Party, Celâl Bayar and Members of Parliament around him within the Justice Party resigned and founded the Democratic Party. (1970). Using this issue as an excuse, National Democratic Revolutionists attempted a coup on the 9th of March 1971. A military coup followed with the memorandum of 12 March. Demirel resigned, the new Nihat Erim government was established. In the elections of 1973 CHP led by his political competitor Bülent Ecevit, received more votes than AP led by Demirel. He became a Prime Minister again under the coalition of "AP-MSP-MHP-CGP" during the first National Front government established in 1975.

Although CHP was the party which received the most votes in the elections of 1977, no party could establish the government alone. Under the second MC government established in 1977, Demirel again was the prime minister under the coalition of "AP-MHP-MSP". With the operation called “Güneş Motel Incident”, CHP transferred 13 elected members of parliament within the Justice Party by promising them ministry, the 2. MC government stepped down and in the beginning of 1978 the Ecevit government was established. Most of the members of parliament transferred from AP were granted ministry. Disturbances caused by the embargo, inflation, and anarchist incidents –some of them were organized by the Turkish Gladio (especially Kahramanmaraş incidents which are claimed to be organized by counterinsurgency)–caused that people lost confident in Ecevit’s government. After the boycott of revolutionary groups in 1979 by-elections, Demirel came to power alone.

Meanwhile Turgut Özal was assigned to State Planning Organization’s Undersecretary. 24 January 1980 was a real climax for Turkey’s transition to liberal economy. Disorder could not be prevented in the year 1980 and ex-Prime Minister Nihat Erim, Minister of Monopolies Gün Sazak and General Director of Mining-Labor Syndicate Kemal Türkler were killed. Demirel resigned after the military intervention of 12 September 1980.

Süleyman Demirel who established three coalition governments in 1975, 1977 and 1979 between the 1971 memorandum and 1980 coup, remained arrested for a period in Çanakkale / Zincirbozan military facility after the 12 September 1980 military coup. He stayed out of politics until 1987 because of being banned. He was elected as the Leader of the True Path Party (DYP) on the 24th of September1987. He joined TBMM again as Member of Parliament of Isparta city after the general elections of 29 November 1987. After the general elections of 20 October 1991 Süleyman Demirel was again the Prime Minister in the coalition government established by DYP and Social Democratic Populist Party. In this way he worked as Prime Minister in 30th, 31st, 32nd, 39th, 41st, 43rd and 49th Governments.

Süleyman Demirel became a general director at the age of 30, a party leader at the age of 40 and later a prime minister. During his prime ministry which lasted about 12 years he served to Turkey for its progress and development. He has been Turkey’s youngest general director, youngest prime minister and longest prime minister after İsmet İnönü. He was Member of Parliament of Isparta for 6 periods, remained banned for 7 years, left the government 6 times, established a government 7 times. His aphorisms "Yesterday was yesterday. Today is today." "If I gave it, it was me who gave it.” "There as oil in the country and we drunk it all?", "Ways do not end by walking, "are famous. The word used by him most often is "binaenaleyh" which means "therefore, thereupon".

He was elected as the 9th President of Turkey on the 16th of May 1993 by the Grand Assembly of Turkey. He transferred his duty in 2000 to the Constitutional Court President Ahmet Necdet Sezer who graduated from Afyon High School like him. After completing his duty of Presidency he left active politics.

A university, numerous education and health institutions were given his name in Isparta. Aside from books he wrote about politics, his speeches and interviews done with him were published.

He played an important role at dam constructions, hydroelectric power stations and irrigation facilities on Fırat and Dicle rivers. He also contributed to the development of urban and rural infrastructure, transportation, industry, education, health and other sectors; besides to the realization of Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP).


Anayasa ve Devlet İdaresi (1972), 1971 Buhranı ve Aydınlığa Doğru (1973),Yeni Bir Sosyal Mukaveleye Doğru (1974), Ufuk ve Çizgi (1976), Büyük Türkiye (1977), Demirel Demokrasiyi Anlatıyor, Kalkınmanın Manevi Yönü, İslâm ve Demokrasi (1987), Demirel GAP’I Anlatıyor ,Gençlik ve Eğitim, İslâm – Demokrasi ve Laiklik (1991).


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