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Süleyman Demirel with French president Jacques Chirac

Süleyman Demirel (born November 1, 1924) is a Turkish politician who served as prime minister five times and was the 9th President of Turkey.

Demirel was born in İslamköy, a village in Isparta. Upon completion of his elementary school education in his hometown, he attended middle school and high school in Isparta and Afyon respectively. He graduated from the school of civil engineering at the Istanbul Technical University in 1949. Demirel worked in the state department for electrical power planning in 1949. He undertook postgraduate studies on irrigation, electrical technologies and dam construction in the United States first in 1949-1950, then in 1954-1955. During the construction of the Seyhan Dam, Demirel worked as a project engineer and in 1954 was appointed Head of 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 advisor between 1962-1964. During this period, he worked as a lecturer of hydraulic engineering at ODTÜ Middle East Technical University in Ankara.

His political career started with his election to the executive board of Adalet Partisi (the Justice Party) that was a replacement of Demokrat Parti (the Democrat Party) closed after the military coup of May 27, 1960 led by Cemal Gürsel. Demirel was elected chairman at the second 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 Deputy Prime Minister. Under his leadership, AP won an unprecedented majority of the votes in the 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 elections on October 10, 1969, his party was the sole winner by a landslide once again. He resigned upon the military memorandum of March 12, 1971. Between 1971 and 1980, he served as prime minister for three more times, respectively in 1975-1977, 1977-1978 and 1979-1980.

Following the coup d'etat of September 12, 1980, headed by Kenan Evren, he was banned from involvement in active politics for ten years. In 1986 however, Demirel launched a national campaign for the lifting of the bans and initiated a national referendum on the issue. The September 6, 1987 referendum allowed him to return to active politics. Already 18 days later, Demirel was elected chairman at the extraordinary convention of Doğru Yol Partisi (the True Path Party) that replaced the closed Adalet Partisi. He was reelected deputy of Isparta at the elections of November 29, 1987. Following the elections of October 20, 1991, Demirel became prime minister once again in a coalition government with Sosyal Demokrat Halk Partisi (Social Democrat People’s Party). After the sudden death of president Turgut Özal, he became the 9th president on May 16, 1993, elected by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. Demirel served until May 16, 2000, for the constitutional term of seven years.

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.

He is married to Nazmiye.

A university in Isparta is named after him.

Preceded by:
Turgut Özal
President of Turkey
Succeeded by:
Ahmet Necdet Sezer
Preceded by:
Suad Hayri Ürgüplü
Sadi Irmak
Bülent Ecevit
Bülent Ecevit
Mesut Yılmaz
Prime Minister of Turkey
Succeeded by:
Nihat Erim
Bülent Ecevit
Bülent Ecevit
Bülent Ulusu
Tansu Çiller

Template:End boxde:Süleyman Demirel pt:Süleyman Demirel tr:Süleyman Demirel


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