|Minister for Culture|
17 April 2003 – 19 April 2007
|Prime Minister||Anneli Jäätteenmäki
|Preceded by||Kaarina Dromberg|
|Succeeded by||Stefan Wallin|
|Member of Finnish Parliament
24 March 1999 – 19 April 2011
22 August 1970 |
|Political party||Finnish Centre|
|Spouse(s)||Totti Karpela (1995–1999)
Olli Saarela (2006–2008)
Janne Erjola (2009–)
Tanja Tellervo Karpela (née Vienonen; previously Karpela and Saarela. born 22 August 1970) is a Finnish politician and former Miss Finland (1991). She was a Member of Parliament 1999–2011 and served in the government of Finland as Minister of Culture from 2003 to 2007.
Karpela was elected to parliament from the Electoral District of Uusimaa in 1999, representing the Centre Party. She was appointed Minister of Culture in Prime Minister Anneli Jäätteenmäki's cabinet in 2003. After the resignation of Jäätteenmäki, Karpela went on to serve in the same post under Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen.
In December 2005 Karpela received a Big Brother Award from the Finnish on-line civil rights organization EFFI for proposing Internet traffic blocking software be installed in schools and libraries. She was also a supporter of the 2005 amendment to the Finnish Copyright Act and Penal Code, which has been nicknamed Lex Karpela due to her acceptance of what many perceive to be a highly controversial addition to the Finnish law. In March 2010, Karpela announced that she is no longer pursuing a parliamentary career following the 2011 parliamentary elections.
Karpela was born in Salo. As a beauty queen, she held the title of Miss Finland and represented her country in the Miss Universe pageant in 1991. Prior to her political career, she also became famous for her work as an underwear and lingerie model. Karpela is a convicted drunk driver  and since entering politics, she has become most famous for her relationships – she has remarried twice and broken off a third, separate engagement. Karpela caused a stir in 2001 when it became public that she (a divorcée) was having a relationship with Finance Minister Sauli Niinistö (a widower). Karpela's Centre Party was in opposition and Niinistö was considered the second-most influential man in government. Under close press scrutiny ever since, in 2003 Karpela and Niinistö announced their engagement. They broke off their engagement in 2004.
On 21 May 2006, Karpela married film director Olli Saarela, and took her new husband's surname. She filed for divorce from Olli Saarela in November 2007, and on 22 February 2008 she changed her name back to Karpela.
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- "Minister of Culture Tanja Saarela". Vanhanen's Cabinet 2003–2007. Finnish Government. Archived from the original on 2007-12-15. Retrieved 2008-09-02.
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- "Tanja Karpela avioon". MTV3 (in Finnish). 2006-05-21. Retrieved 2008-09-02.
- "Tanja Saarela hakee avioeroa". MTV3 (in Finnish). 2007-11-24. Retrieved 2008-09-02.
- "Tanja Saarela on taas Karpela". Iltalehti (in Finnish). 2008-02-26. Retrieved 2008-09-02.
- Personal home page (in Finnish)