|Minister for European Union and Chief Negotiator|
9 January 2009 – 25 December 2013
|Prime Minister||Recep Tayyip Erdoğan|
|Preceded by||Ali Babacan|
|Succeeded by||Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu|
|Member of Parliament representing Istanbul|
18 November 2002
23 April 1970 |
|Political party||Justice and Development Party (AKP)|
|Spouse(s)||Beyhan N. Bağış|
|Alma mater||Baruch College|
Egemen Bağış (born 23 April 1970) is a controversial Turkish politician, member of the Turkish parliament since November 2002, and the former minister for EU Affairs and chief negotiator of Turkey in accession talks with the European Union.
Bağış was born in Bingöl, Turkey, in 1970. His family originates from the neighbouring province of Siirt, where his father once served as mayor. His father Abdullah Bağış died during his tenure in New York as the Educational Attache of Turkey.
- Member of the Turkish Parliament, representing Istanbul
- Chairman, Turkey-USA Inter Parliamentary Friendship Caucus of the Turkish Parliament
- Advisory Board Chairman, Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture Initiative.
- Honorary board member of the Siirt Solidarity Foundation.
Federation of Turkish American Associations
Bağış formerly served as the president of the Federation of Turkish American Associations, the New York-based umbrella organization of Turkish-Americans that sponsored his green card petition in the United States. He has also served as a member of the Advisory Board on Turkish Citizens Abroad, a government body. He was the manager of the Antik Bar at the Jolly Madison Hotel serving the Turkish American community. He also founded the Turkish Link, a New York-based translation agency specialized in the Turkish and English languages.
Protests of 2013
During the 2013 protests in Turkey, Bağış attracted criticism for his comments that "Everyone who enters Taksim Square will be treated like a terrorist." In an officially published statement, and despite claims and evidence presented by organizations such as Amnesty International, Bağış claimed that "There is no state violence in Turkey". In the same statement, he claimed that "Turkey has the most reformist and strongest government in Europe and the most charismatic and strongest leader in the world. Should anyone have a problem with this, then I am truly sorry. Only for those who feel overwhelmed is the leadership of Prime Minister Erdoğan a problem."
Germany's Foreign Ministry summoned the Turkish ambassador to protest after Bağış accused German Chancellor Angela Merkel of "picking on" Turkey for domestic political gain before German elections, after Merkel criticized the crackdown as "much too strong". The accusation came after Germany blocked a decision to move forward the membership negotiations after the crackdown. Bağış said that if Merkel is looking for "internal political material" ahead of Germany’s September elections, "this should not be Turkey". He also pointed to the election defeat last year of then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy, a fellow opponent of Turkish EU membership.
As part of claims that Bağış, along with 3 other ministers, engaged in severely corrupt conduct, Bağış was the only one out of the four charged ministers who had not resigned on 25 December 2013. Despite Bağış claiming innocence, that evening, Prime Minister Erdoğan announced a major cabinet reshuffle, removing Bağış from his post as the Minister for European Union through his publicly unannounced official resignation.
- "Turkey's Chief EU Negotiator Bağış Arrives in London". Retrieved 9 February 2010.
- "Everyone who enters Taksim will be treated as a terrorist: Turkish EU Minister". Hürriyet Daily News. 16 June 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
- "Statement on the recent events by the Turkish EU Minister". Turkish Ministry for EU Affairs. 15 June 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
- "Germany summons Turkish ambassador to hear protest after minister assails Chancellor Merkel". Washington Post. (Associated Press). 21 June 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
- "Turkish EU Minister Compares Assyrian Genocide of 1915 to Masturbation". AINA. 26 February 2013. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
- "Turkish Minister 'Apologizes' to Assyrians for Genocide 'Masturbation' Remark". AINA. 12 March 2013. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
- "BAKANLARIN İSTİFASI VE ATANMASINA DAİR İŞLEM". T.C. Resmi Gazete. 25 December 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
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