Turgut Özal: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Halil Turgut Özal

In office
November 9, 1989 – April 17, 1993
Preceded by Kenan Evren
Succeeded by Süleyman Demirel

In office
December 13, 1983 – October 31, 1989
President Kenan Evren
Preceded by Bülend Ulusu
Succeeded by Yıldırım Akbulut

Born October 13, 1927(1927-10-13)
Malatya, Turkey
Died April 17, 1993 (aged 65)
Ankara, Turkey
Political party ANAP
Spouse(s) Ayhan İnal (m. 1952, div. 1952)
Semra Özal (m. 1954)
Alma mater Istanbul Technical University
Religion Muslim

Halil Turgut Özal (October 13, 1927 – April 17, 1993) was a Turkish political leader, prime minister and the eighth President of Turkey. As prime minister, he transformed the economy of Turkey by paving the way for the privatization of many state enterprises. This improved relations with the western world, especially the United States. Özal described his dream as transforming Turkey into a "little America"[citation needed], and showed as evidence the preponderance of goods that became available during his leadership, albeit most of them being imported.[1]

Özal has been criticized by some, who have asserted that this shift from state-dominated to privatized economy came at the expense of the old Turkish middle class. This criticism has been answered by others who emphasize that Özal had tried to expand the middle class so as to integrate the more traditional popular rural base previously excluded from the markets. His presidential tenure is often perceived as having "brought capitalism to the country".[2]


Early Life and Career

Turgut Özal was born in Malatya and was of partial Kurdish[3] descent. He completed elementary school in Silifke (Mersin), middle school in Mardin, and high school in Kayseri. Özal studied electrical engineering at Istanbul Technical University, graduating in 1950.

Between 1950-1952, he worked in the State Electrical Power Planning Administration and continued his studies in the United States on electrical energy and engineering management between 1952-1953. After his return to Turkey, he worked in the same organization again on electrification projects until 1958. Özal was in the State Planning Department in 1959, and in the Planning Coordination Department in 1960. After his military service in 1961, he worked at several state organizations in leading positions and lectured at ODTÜ (Middle East Technical University). The World Bank employed him between 1971-1973[citation needed]. Then, he was chairman of some private Turkish companies[citation needed] until 1979. Back to the state service, he was undersecretary to the Prime minister Süleyman Demirel until the military coup on September 12, 1980.

Political Career

The military rulers under Kenan Evren appointed him state minister and deputy prime minister in charge of economic affairs until July 1982.

Motherland Party era

On May 20, 1983 he founded the Motherland Party (Turkish: Anavatan Partisi) and became its leader. His party won the elections and he formed the government to become the 19th Prime minister on December 13, 1983. In 1987 he again became prime minister after winning elections. [4]

President Turgut Özal and Kaymakam Eyüp Sabri Kartal

On June 18, 1988 he survived an assassination attempt during the party congress. One bullet wounded his finger while another bullet missed his head. The assassin, Kartal Demirağ, was captured and sentenced to life in prison but pardoned by Özal in 1992.[5] Demirağ was allegedly a Counter-Guerrilla, contracted by its hawkish leader, general Sabri Yirmibeşoğlu. Two months later, Yirmibeşoğlu became the secretary general of the National Security Council. During Yirmibeşoğlu's tenure as secretary general, Özal heard about the allegations of Yirmibeşoğlu's role in the affair and forced him into retirement.[6]

In late 2008, Demirağ was retried by the Ankara 11th Heavy Penal Court and sentenced to twenty years in prison.[5]

Presidency era

On 9 November 1989, Özal became the eighth president of Turkey elected by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey.

With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Özal made an effort to create alliances with the Turkic countries of Central Asia as well as Azerbaijan in the South Caucasus. He provided moral, economic, and military support to the latter during the Nagorno-Karabakh War threatening to invade Armenia.[citation needed]

Özal supported the coalition against Iraq during the 1991 Gulf War. [1]

In February 1991, he was made an honorary Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), Australia's highest civilian honour, "for eminent service to Turkish/Australian relations".[7]


On 17 April 1993, Özal died of a suspicious heart attack in office,[8] leading some to suspect an assassination.[9] His wife Semra Ozal claimed he was poisoned by lemonade and she questioned the lack of an autopsy; allegedly a requirement in such circumstances. The blood samples taken to determine his cause of death were lost or disposed of.[10] Özal sought to create a Turkic union, and had obtained the commitment of several presidents. His wife Semra alleged that the perpetrator might have wanted to foil the plan.[11]

Hundreds of thousands of people[citation needed] attended his burial ceremonies in Istanbul, whereby he was buried with a state ceremony next to the mausoleum of Adnan Menderes, whom he had revered.[citation needed]

On the fourteenth anniversary of his death, thousands of commemorators gathered in Ankara.[12]


With his wife Semra, Özal had two sons, and a daughter. One of their sons, Ahmet Özal, was elected to parliament after the elections of 1999, but stayed out after the elections of 2002.


  1. ^ a b Anderson, Perry (2008-09-25). "After Kemal". London Review of Books. http://www.lrb.co.uk/v30/n18/ande01_.html. Retrieved 2008-12-29. 
  2. ^ Purvis, Andrew (2003-07-27). "Not Just Business As Usual". TIME. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,901030804-471150-1,00.html. Retrieved 2008-08-14. 
  3. ^ Edelman, Eric (2006-06-19). "Three Legacies: Ataturk, Inonu, and Ozal and the Making of the U.S.-Turkish Relationship". Washington Institute. http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC07.php?CID=299. Retrieved 2008-08-14. 
  4. ^ http://www.basbakan.org/turgut_ozal.html
  5. ^ a b "Kartal Demirağ'a 20 yıl hapis cezası" (in Turkish). Hürriyet. Anadolu Agency. 2008-12-31. http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/gundem/10679039.asp. Retrieved 2009-01-04. 
  6. ^ Dündar, Can (2002-01-08). "'Özel Harp'çinin tırmanış öyküsü" (in Turkish). Milliyet. http://www.milliyet.com.tr/2006/01/08/yazar/dundar.html. Retrieved 2006-01-28. 
  7. ^ It's an Honour: AC
  8. ^ Soncan, Emre; Çelen, Nergihan (2007-04-18). "‘People’s president Özal’ commemorated at his grave". Today's Zaman. http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/detaylar.do?load=detay&link=108714. Retrieved 2008-08-14. 
  9. ^ Dolmaci, Emine (2008-09-07). "Apo Ergenekon'un Truva Ati" (in Turkish). Zaman. http://www.zaman.com.tr/haber.do?haberno=735236. Retrieved 2008-10-10. "Tıpkı onun gibi Turgut Özal, Cem Ersever ve Eşref Bitlis de barışçıl çözüm istedikleri ve bu yönde adım atmaya hazırlandıkları için öldürüldü." 
  10. ^ Düzel, Neşe (2008-11-24). "Nurettin Yılmaz: ‘Talabani federasyonu kabul etmişti’" (in Turkish). Taraf. http://www.taraf.com.tr/yazar.asp?mid=2801. Retrieved 2009-01-06. "Ölüm nedenini anlamak için Turgut Bey’den kan aldılar. Ama hemen sonra ‘şişenin hemşirenin elinden kaydığını, kırıldığını’ söylediler. Bir süre sonra bundan da vazgeçtiler. 'Şişe kayboldu' dediler." 
  11. ^ Uğur, Fatih (2007-04-16). "Büyük Türkiye Cumhuriyeti'ni kuracaktı" (in Turkish). Aksiyon (Feza Gazetecilik A.Ş.) 645. http://www.aksiyon.com.tr/detay.php?id=27219. Retrieved 2009-01-08. 
  12. ^ "Press Roundup". Today's Zaman. 2007-04-17. http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/detaylar.do?load=detay&link=108536. Retrieved 2008-08-14. 
Party political offices
Preceded by
Suleyman Demirel of Justice Party
Leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP)
May 20, 1983–Oct 31, 1989
Succeeded by
Yıldırım Akbulut
Political offices
Preceded by
Orhan Eyüpoğlu
Hikmet Çetin
Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey
Sep 20, 1980–Jul 14, 1982
Succeeded by
Kaya Erdem
Preceded by
Bülend Ulusu
Prime Minister of Turkey
Dec 13, 1983–Oct 31, 1989
Succeeded by
Yıldırım Akbulut
Preceded by
Kenan Evren
President of Turkey
Nov 9, 1989–Apr 17, 1993
Succeeded by
Süleyman Demirel


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Halil Turgut Özal (October 13, 1927April 17, 1993) was the twentieth prime minister (December 13, 1983 to October 31, 1989) and the eighth president (November 9, 1989 to April 17, 1993) of the Turkish Republic. Özal founded the Motherland Party and was its leader from May 20, 1983 to October 31, 1989.


  • "Turkey must show its teeth to Armenia." "What harm would it do if a few bombs were dropped on the Armenian side by Turkish troops holding maneuvers on the border?"

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address