Deniz Baykal

Siyasi Parti Genel Başkanı, Bakan, Milletvekili, Devlet Adamı, Siyasetçi

28 Temmuz, 1938
11 Şubat, 2023
Ankara University Faculty of Law

Statesman and politician (b. 28th of July 1938 in Antalya - d. 11 February 2023, Ankara). He graduated from Ankara University, Faculty of Law (1959). He became interested in politics during his studies in Ankara University, Faculty of Law. He entered Ankara University, Faculty of Political Science in 1960 as an assistant of constitutional law. He completed his PhD here in 1963 and worked two years at Colombia and Berkeley universities in USA.

Baykal was known as a social democrat within the student movements and during the period of his academic membership in Faculty of Political Science. The first proposition for active politics came to him from Bülent Ecevit, Leader of CHP after İsmet İnönü. He entered CHP in the year when he became an associate professor (1968) and started his political career. After 1971 he wrote articles in Özgür İnsan magazine published by Ecevit defending financial and economic opinions in the direction of central left policy. He was elected as a parliament member from Antalya in 1973 from the list of CHP and entered the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM). Between 1973-80 and 1987-99 he was reelected from Antalya and served as a parliament member. In the coalition government of CHP-MSP under the leadership of Ecevit (26 January -17 November 1974) he served as a Minister of Financial Affairs and again in the government established by (5 January 1978-12 November 1979) as a Minister of Energy and Natural Resources. Besides he undertook duties in the party administration.

Deniz Baykal in the following years became a Minister of Foreign Affairs and a Vice Prime Minister in the coalition governments his party was part of. After the military coup of 12 September 1980 he was taken into custody for a while and was removed from politics for five years. He was again taken into custody in 1983 in Zincirbozan because of continuing his political activities although he is banned with a group of CHP and AP members. He was elected as parliament member of Antalya in September 1987 from Social Democratic Populist Party (SODEP) led by Erdal İnönü. After this party joined SHP, he became a SHP member. He stood as a candidate twice for the leadership of this party and lost. First he served as a group deputy chairman, then as general secretary of the party.

In 1990 he resigned from general secretary. After CHP was reopened he left SHP and passed to CHP. He was elected as the Party Leader on the 9th of September 1992. In the congress on the 18th of February 1995 about integration of SHP and CHP he did not stand as a candidate and resigned from Party Leadership.

Baykal was reelected to Party Leadership after both parties were integrated under the roof of CHP on the 9th of September 1995. He became a Vice Prime Minister and Foreign Minister in the coalition government established on the 30th of October 1995 by DYP-CHP. Due to the 53rd Governmental Congress he resigned from these duties. He was reelected as a Party Leader during the Ordinary CHP Congress on the 23-24th of May 1998. However since his party could not pass the limit in the 18 April 1999 elections and was out of the Assembly, he resigned from CHP Party Leadership he continued between 1992-99 by his own will. Altan Öymen who was elected in his place lost the election after Baykal again stood as a candidate in the 11th Extraordinary Congress on the 1st of October 2000.

CHP under his leadership received 19.4% of total votes in the general elections of 3 November 2002 and acquired 177 chairs in the parliament. It became with this result the second and opposition party. Baykal with this election again entered the Assembly as a Parliament Member from Antalya and became the leader of the main opposition. In October 2003 he was again elected to the leadership of the party in the 30th Congress. In July 2004 he obtained a vote of confidence in the extraordinary congress against Mustafa Sarıgül of the opposition. In the CHP Extraordinary Congress of 29 January 2005 he defeated his opponent Mustafa Sarıgül and continued his party leadership. In the 31st Ordinary Congress gathered in 19-20 November he was again elected as a party leader. The left alliance CHP was part of before the elections of 2007 received 20, 8% of total votes in the general elections of 22 July 2007.

Deniz Baykal was again elected as a party leader in the 32nd CHP Ordinary Congress of 26 April 2008. He deactivated his opponents within the party and moved towards a new policy he called  “Anadolu Solu” (T.N “Anatolian Left”)  which was far from former leftist policies. While continuing on this line, he had to retreat after a political accident. He declared his resignation on the 10th of May 2010 after a tape scandal broadcast on the internet.

Deniz Baykal’s articles in the field of political science were published in various newspapers nd magazines. Some of his opinions were collected in the book titled CHP ve Anadolu Solu (interview, pub. ed. by Ahmet Hakan Coşkun, 2001). Apart from these, he is the author of a research titled Siyasal Katılma (1970) and school books. 

REFERENCE:  İhsan Işık / Türkiye Yazarlar Ansiklopedisi (2001, 2004) - Resimli ve Metin Örnekli Türkiye Edebiyatçılar ve Kültür Adamları Ansiklopedisi (2006, gen. 2. bas. 2007) – Ünlü Devlet Adamları (Türkiye Ünlüleri Ansiklopedisi, C. 1, 2013) - Encyclopedia of Turkey’s Famous People (2013), Büyük Larousse Sözlük ve Ansiklopedisi / Milliyet, Cilt, 3), Yurt Ansiklopedisi (Anadolu Yayıncılık, 2. cilt), Hürriyet (10.05.2010), TBMM Albümü 3. Cilt 1983-2010 (2010), Deniz Baykal görevi İsmail Kahraman’a devretti (, 22.11.2015), Deniz Baykal (, erişim: 20.02.2016), Eski CHP Genel Başkanı, Antalya Milletvekili Deniz Baykal yaşamını yitirdi (, 11 Şubat 2023).



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