|Minister for European Union and Chief Negotiator|
9 January 2009
|Prime Minister||Recep Tayyip Erdoğan|
|Preceded by||Ali Babacan|
|Member of the Parliament representing Istanbul|
18 November 2002
23 April 1970 |
|Political party||Justice and Development Party (Turkey)|
|Spouse(s)||Beyhan N. Bağış|
|Alma mater||Baruch College|
Egemen Bağış (born April 23, 1970) is a Turkish politician, member of the Turkish parliament since November 2002, current minister for EU Affairs and chief negotiator of Turkey in accession talks with the European Union.
Bagis 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 Bagis 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 (the counterpart of the Turkey Caucus in the US Congress)
- Advisory Board Chairman, Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture Initiative.
- As a patron of the arts, he is among the founders of two museums: the Istanbul Modern and the Santral Museum of Art & Industry. Also, he is an honorary board member of the Siirt Solidarity Foundation.
As a top adviser to the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Bagis has been playing a key role in the Justice and Development Party's dedicated reform drive in Turkey towards robust economy, stronger individual freedoms, a liberal market economy, enhancement of rule of law, and Turkey's global integration. Bagis has also been instrumental in keeping statesmen, international fora, and the media informed of developments in Turkey.
Years in the United States and Federation of Turkish American Associations
Bagis formerly served as the president of the Federation of Turkish American Associations, the New York-based umbrella organization of Turkish-Americans that sponsored for 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, Bagis 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, Bagis 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, the leadership of Prime Minister Erdoğan is a problem.".
Germany's Foreign Ministry summoned the Turkish ambassador to protest after Bagis accused Chancellor Angela Merkel of picking on Turkey for domestic political gain before German elections, after Merkel criticized the crackdown as "much too strong" and who is personally opposed to Turkey joining the European Union. The accusation comes after Germany blocked a decision to move forward the membership negotiations after the crackdown. Bagis 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.
Swiss prosecutors are investigating Bagis for denying the Armenian genocide at a meeting of the 2012 World Economic Forum in Davos. In January 2013 Bagis compared the campaign to recognise the Assyrian Genocide in Sweden to 'masturbation', He later apologised for his remark.
- "Turkey's Chief EU Negotiator Bagis Arrives in London". Retrieved 2010-02-09.
- "Everyone who enters Taksim will be treated as a terrorist: Turkish EU Minister". Hürriyet Daily News. 2013-06-16. Retrieved 2013-06-15.
- "Statement on the recent events by the Turkish EU Minister". Turkish Ministry for EU Affairs. 2013-06-15. Retrieved 2013-06-16.
- "Germany summons Turkish ambassador to hear protest after minister assails Chancellor Merkel". Washington Post. (Associated Press). 2013-06-21. Retrieved 2013-06-21.
- "Turkish EU Minister Compares Assyrian Genocide of 1915 to Masturbation". AINA. 2013-02-26. Retrieved 2013-04-23.
- "Turkish Minister 'Apologizes' to Assyrians for Genocide 'Masturbation' Remark". AINA. 2013-03-12. Retrieved 2013-04-23.
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