Mesut Yılmaz

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Ahmet Mesut Yılmaz
Prime Minister of Turkey
In office
30 June 1997 – 11 January 1999
President Süleyman Demirel
Preceded by Necmettin Erbakan
Succeeded by Bülent Ecevit
In office
6 March 1996 – 28 June 1996
President Süleyman Demirel
Preceded by Tansu Çiller
Succeeded by Necmettin Erbakan
In office
23 June 1991 – 20 November 1991
President Turgut Özal
Preceded by Yıldırım Akbulut
Succeeded by Süleyman Demirel
Personal details
Born (1947-11-06) 6 November 1947 (age 67)
Istanbul, Turkey
Nationality Turkish
Political party Motherland Party
Spouse(s) Berna Yılmaz
Alma mater Ankara University
Religion Islam
Signature

Ahmet Mesut Yılmaz (Turkish pronunciation: [meˈsut jɯɫˈmaz]; born 6 November 1947 in Istanbul) is a Turkish politician. He was the leader of the Motherland Party (Turkish: Anavatan Partisi, ANAP) from 1991 to 2002, and served three times as Prime Minister of Turkey. His first two prime-ministerial terms lasted just months (in 1991 and 1996), while the third ran from June 1997 to January 1999. The first was brought to an end by defeat in the 1991 elections, the latter two by the breakdown of Yılmaz' coalition governments.

Career[edit]

Mesut Yılmaz was a rising star in the Motherland Party of Turgut Özal, representing the Black Sea province of Rize in the parliament and serving in Ozal's cabinet. He was State Minister for Information (December 1983), then Minister of Culture and Tourism (1986), and Minister of Foreign Affairs (December 1987 to February 1990). Upon Özal's election to the presidency in 1989, Yılmaz became the leader of an intraparty opposition to the new Prime Minister, Yıldırım Akbulut.

Prime Minister[edit]

In June 1991 Yılmaz managed to discharge Yıldırım Akbulut from the party leadership and from all executive functions during the biennial party congress. Because ANAP had the majority in the parliament he subsequently became Prime Minister of Turkey in the 48th government of Turkey. However in October ANAP came in second in the 1991 general election to Süleyman Demirel's True Path Party (DYP), and the DYP formed a coalition with the Social Democratic Populist Party. (49th government of Turkey)

The following years saw a decline in the popularity of the Motherland Party and an acrimonious relationship with Tansu Çiller, leader of the center-right True Path Party (DYP). Yılmaz also made the Motherland Party more business-friendly and Europe-oriented, causing the more conservative, religious wing to switch to the Welfare Party (RP) of Necmettin Erbakan. In the December 1995 general election ANAP again came second, this time to the Welfare Party. After lengthy coalition negotiations Yılmaz formed a coalition with the DYP in March 1996 (53rd government of Turkey), but this lasted less than four months, falling to a censure motion led by the Welfare Party. President Demirel invited Erbakan to form a government, which he did, in coalition with the DYP.

Erbakan's term was marked by the Susurluk scandal, during the investigation of which Yılmaz admitted the existence of the JİTEM counter-terrorist Gendarmerie unit.[1] The scandal led to the resignation of Erbakan's Interior Minister, Mehmet Ağar (a leader of the True Path Party, DYP), following revelations that Abdullah Çatlı, leader of the far-right Grey Wolves organisation, worked for the state.[1] Yılmaz' concerns over his own safety, owing to his support of the Susurluk investigation, led to his briefly carrying a gun in self-defense.[2]

Yılmaz formed a government for the third time in June 1997, after the Welfare Party had resigned from government following the February 1997 military memorandum. DYP and others expected to form a government under Tansu Çiller, but President Süleyman Demirel asked Yılmaz to form the new government. Yılmaz created an ANAP-Democratic Left Party-Democrat Turkey Party coalition which lasted until January 1999. Yılmaz final term was marked by fallout from the investigations into the Susurluk scandal, and further revelations of connections between politicians, police and mafia. When the attempt to privatize the Turkish Trade Bank to Korkmaz Yiğit blew up in October 1998 over allegations of the involvement of mafia boss Alaattin Çakıcı, Yılmaz' coalition did not last much longer.

In October 1998, Yılmaz set off a furor in the Arab world by threatening to "poke out the eyes" of Syria over Hafez al-Assad's alleged support of the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party.[3]

Later career[edit]

Yılmaz continued as a politician, however, serving as a deputy prime minister in a coalition led by Bülent Ecevit from 1999 to 2002. After his failure to win entry into the Grand National Assembly in 2002 elections, Yılmaz retired from politics to pursue a teaching career.

He was charged by the state public prosecutor with corruption during his tenure as prime minister relating to the privatization of Turkish Trade Bank. In 2006 the Supreme Court suspended the case for five years, so that the charges would be dropped if no similar charges arose in that period. Yılmaz announced that he would return to politics.[4]

In the 2007 general election he was elected as independent member of parliament from Rize.

Chronology[edit]

  • Forms Motherland Party in 1983 with former president Turgut Özal
  • Elected Deputy of Turkish Grand National Assembly (November 1983)
  • Appointed State Minister for Information (December 1983)
  • Minister of Culture and Tourism (1986)
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs (December 1987)
  • Prime Minister (Governments of June - October 1991, March - June 1996, June 1997- January 1999)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b 1998 Report from the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT), chapter II, "SUSURLUK SCANDAL: Counter-guerilla Affairs", p.39-86 (see p.46)
  2. ^ Özkok, Ertuğrul (1998-01-18). "Tabancanın altındaki mavi dosya". Hürriyet (in Turkish). Retrieved 2008-12-23. "En üstte bir tabanca duruyordu.'Güneş hediye etti' dedikten sonra tabancayı uzattı.Avusturya malı, Glock marka bir tabanca.Özelliği çok hafif oluşu. Mesut Bey'in çantasında ilk defa silah taşıdığını görüyorum. Demek ki Susurluk olayı bazı şeyleri değiştirmiş." 
  3. ^ "Middle East". "Hopes for Turkey-Syria settlement". BBC News. 1998-10-12. Retrieved 2008-10-09. 
  4. ^ BBC, 23 June 2006, Former Turkish PM avoids verdict

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Vahit Melih Halefoğlu
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey
Dec 22, 1987–Feb 20, 1990
Succeeded by
Ali Bozer
Preceded by
Yıldırım Akbulut
Prime Minister of Turkey
Jun 23, 1991–Nov 20, 1991
Succeeded by
Süleyman Demirel
Preceded by
Tansu Çiller
Prime Minister of Turkey
Mar 6, 1996–Jun 28, 1996
Succeeded by
Necmettin Erbakan
Preceded by
Necmettin Erbakan
Prime Minister of Turkey
Jun 30, 1997–Jan 11, 1999
Succeeded by
Bülent Ecevit
Preceded by
Hüsamettin Özkan
Hikmet Uluğbay
Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey
Jul 13, 2000–Nov 19, 2002
Succeeded by
Mehmet Ali Şahin
Ertuğrul Yalçınbayır
Abdüllatif Şener
Party political offices
Preceded by
Yıldırım Akbulut
Leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP)
Jun 15, 1991–Nov 4, 2002
Succeeded by
Ali Talip Özdemir