Egemen Bağış

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Egemen Bağış
Egemen bagis photo.jpg
Minister for European Union and Chief Negotiator
In office
9 January 2009 – 25 December 2013
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Preceded by Ali Babacan
Succeeded by Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu
Member of Parliament representing Istanbul
Incumbent
Assumed office
18 November 2002
Personal details
Born (1970-04-23) 23 April 1970 (age 44)
Bingöl, Turkey
Political party Justice and Development Party (AKP)
Spouse(s) Beyhan N. Bağış
Alma mater Baruch College
Religion Sunni Islam
Website www.egemenbagis.com

Egemen Bağış (born 23 April 1970) is a 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.[1]

Early life[edit]

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.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Resources Management as well as a Master of Public Administration, both from the Baruch College of City University of New York.

Official responsibilities[edit]

  • 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.

As a top adviser to the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Bağış played a key role in the Justice and Development Party's (AKP) policies.

Federation of Turkish American Associations[edit]

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.[2][3] He also founded the Turkish Link, a New York-based translation agency specialized in the Turkish and English languages.[4]

Controversies[edit]

Protests of 2013[edit]

During the 2013 protests in Turkey, Bağış attracted criticism for his comments that "Everyone who enters Taksim Square will be treated like a terrorist."[5] 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".[6] 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."[6]

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.[7]

"Masturbation" remark[edit]

In January 2013 Bağış compared the campaign to recognise the Assyrian genocide and Armenian Genocide in Sweden to "masturbation".[8] He later apologised for his remark.[9]

Corruption scandal[edit]

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.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Turkey's Chief EU Negotiator Bağış Arrives in London". Retrieved 9 February 2010. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ [3]
  5. ^ "Everyone who enters Taksim will be treated as a terrorist: Turkish EU Minister". Hürriyet Daily News. 16 June 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Statement on the recent events by the Turkish EU Minister". Turkish Ministry for EU Affairs. 15 June 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2013. 
  7. ^ "Germany summons Turkish ambassador to hear protest after minister assails Chancellor Merkel". Washington Post. (Associated Press). 21 June 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2013. 
  8. ^ "Turkish EU Minister Compares Assyrian Genocide of 1915 to Masturbation". AINA. 26 February 2013. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "Turkish Minister 'Apologizes' to Assyrians for Genocide 'Masturbation' Remark". AINA. 12 March 2013. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  10. ^ "BAKANLARIN İSTİFASI VE ATANMASINA DAİR İŞLEM". T.C. Resmi Gazete. 25 December 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2013. 

External links[edit]