Rahşan Ecevit

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Rahşan Ecevit
Chairman of the Democratic Left Party
In office
Preceded by founder
Succeeded by Bülent Ecevit
Chairman of the Democratic Left People's Party
In office
January 17, 2010 – June 12, 2010
Preceded by Hulki Cevizoğlu
Succeeded by party closed
Personal details
Born 1923 (age 91–92)
Bursa, Turkey
Political party Democratic Left Party (1985-2009), Democratic Left People's Party (2009-2010), Republican People's Party (2010-)
Spouse(s) Bülent Ecevit (1946-2006)
Alma mater Robert College
Profession Politician, writer & painter

Rahşan Ecevit (née Aral; born 1923) is the spouse of the late Turkish politician and former prime minister Bülent Ecevit.

She was born in Bursa, Turkey to a family from Şebinkarahisar, a town in the northeastern Giresun Province. Her father was Namık Zeki Aral, and her mother Zahide Aral. Their family came from Thessaloniki after the population exchange agreement in 1920. Rahşan graduated from the American high school Robert College in İstanbul. She married her classmate Bülent Ecevit in 1946.

Following the military coup in 1980 led by General Kenan Evren, her husband was imprisoned and was suspended from active politics for life. Bülent Ecevit's party, the Republican People's Party, was closed down. On November 14, 1985, Rahşan founded a centre-left party, the Democratic Left Party (DSP) and led it until her husband's ban from politics was lifted in 1987.

Rahşan Ecevit was the vice president of the Democratic Left Party and responsible for the party's organization between 1989 and 2004. She became the leader of the Demokratik Sol Halk Partisi (DSHP) on January 17, 2010.[1] After Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu became the leader of the CHP she disbanded her party and joined the CHP.

On November 5, 2006, she lost her husband following an almost 6-month long medically induced coma.


  1. ^ "DSHP'de Cevizoğlu gitti, Ecevit geldi" (in Turkish). cnnturk. 2010-01-17. Retrieved 2010-01-17. 
Party political offices
Preceded by
Party founded
Leader of the Democratic Left Party (DSP)
Succeeded by
Bülent Ecevit
Preceded by
Hulki Cevizoğlu
Leader of the Democratic Left People's Party (DSHP)
Succeeded by
Party closed