Süleyman DEMİREL

Süleyman Demirel

16 May 1993 - 16 May 2000

President Demirel was born on November 1, 1924, in İslamköy, a remote village in the province of Isparta.

Upon completion of his elementary school education in his native village, he attended junior high school and high school in Isparta and Afyon respectively. He graduated from the Engineering Faculty of Istanbul Technical University in 1949.

He joined Turkey’s Electrical Studies and Research Administration in 1949.

He undertook postgraduate studies on irrigation, electrical technologies and dam construction in the United States first in 1949-50, then in 1954-55.

During the construction of the Seyhan Dam, Demirel worked as a project engineer and in 1954 was appointed Head of Turkey’s Department of Dams.

As of 1955, he served as Director General of the State Hydraulic Works Department. In this capacity, Demirel was to supervise the construction of a multitude of dams, power plants, and irrigation facilities.

Upon completion of his military service, he worked as a free-lance engineer and adviser between 1962-64. During this period, he worked as a lecturer of Hydraulic Engineering at Ankara’s Middle East Technical University.

His political career started with his election to the Justice Party (JP) General Executive Board.

Demirel was elected Party Chairman at the second JP Grand Convention on November 28, 1964. He facilitated the formation of a coalition government that ruled between February and October 1965 under the premiership of Suat Hayri Ürgüplü, in which he served as Depity Prime Minister.

Under the leardership of Demirel, the JP won an unprecedented 53 percent of the votes in the General Elections of October 10, 1965 and formed a majority government.

As deputy from Isparta, Demirel became Turkey’s 12th Prime Minister and ruled the country for four years.

In the next general elections on Octobed 10, 1969, Demirel’s JP was the sole winner by a landslide once again.

Subsequently, Demirel formed Turkey’s 31st government.

Later on, however, due to an intra-party crisis, he formed a new government.

He resigned upon the Military Memorandum of March 12, 1971.

Between 1971-80, he served as Prime Minister for three more times, respectively in 1975-1977, and 1979.

Following the military coup of September 12, 1980, Demirel was banned from involvement in active politics for ten years.

In 1986, Demirel launched a national campaign for the lifting of the bans and initiated a national referandum on the issue.

The September 6, 1987 referandum returned Demirel to active politics.

Demirel was elected Chairman of the True Path (TPP) at the party’s extraordinary convention on September 24, 1987.

He was re-elected Isparta Deputy in the General Elections of November 29, 1987.

Following the General Elections of October 20, 1991, Demirel became Prime Minister once again in a coalition government with Social Democrat People’s Party.

He was elected the ninth President of the Republic of Turkey on May 16, 1993.

A Director-General when only 30, a Party Chairman and Prime Minister at 40, Demirel has done his utmost for the development and industrialization of the country.

He still holds the record for Turkey's youngest prime minister ever. Only İsmet İnönü’s tenure as prime minister was longer than his.

Between 1964-93, Demirel was elected Isparta Deputy for six terms.

During the 17 years between November 28, 1964 and October 15, 1981, Demirel was elected Party Chairman at all the Grand Conventions of the JP.

Despite being banned from active politics for seven years, Demirel managed to form seven governments during his political career that spans three decades.

He speaks English and is the author of a number of books, articles, and essays on politics.

He is married to Nazmiye Demirel.