Tanja Karpela

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Tanja Karpela
Tanja Karpela 2009.jpg
Minister for Culture
In office
17 April 2003 – 19 April 2007
Prime Minister Anneli Jäätteenmäki
Matti Vanhanen
Preceded by Kaarina Dromberg
Succeeded by Stefan Wallin
Member of Finnish Parliament
for Uusimaa
In office
24 March 1999 – 19 April 2011
Personal details
Born (1970-08-22) 22 August 1970 (age 44)
Salo, Finland
Nationality Finnish
Political party Finnish Centre
Spouse(s) Totti Karpela (1995–1999)
Olli Saarela (2006–2008)
Janne Erjola (2009–)

Tanja Tellervo Karpela[1] (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[1] and served in the government of Finland as Minister of Culture from 2003 to 2007.[2]

Political Career[edit]

Karpela was elected to parliament from the Electoral District of Uusimaa in 1999, representing the Centre Party.[1] She was appointed Minister of Culture in Prime Minister Anneli Jäätteenmäki's cabinet in 2003.[3] After the resignation of Jäätteenmäki, Karpela went on to serve in the same post under Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen.[2]

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.[4] She was also a supporter of the 2005 amendment to the Finnish Copyright Act and Penal Code, which has been nicknamed Lex Karpela[5] 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.

Personal Life[edit]

Karpela was born in Salo.[2] As a beauty queen, she held the title of Miss Finland and represented her country in the Miss Universe pageant in 1991.[6] Prior to her political career, she also became famous for her work as an underwear and lingerie model. Karpela is a convicted drunk driver [7][8] 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).[6] 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.[6][9] They broke off their engagement in 2004.[6][10]

On 21 May 2006, Karpela married film director Olli Saarela,[1][2] and took her new husband's surname.[11] She filed for divorce from Olli Saarela in November 2007,[12] and on 22 February 2008 she changed her name back to Karpela.[13]

Karpela has two children (born 1995 and 1998) from her previous marriage to Totti Karpela and one (born 2009) from her third marriage to Janne Erjola.[1][2]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Tanja Karpela". Kansanedustajat 1907– (in Finnish). The Finnish Parliament. 2013-09-07. Retrieved 20014-05-22.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  2. ^ a b c d e "Minister of Culture Tanja Saarela". Vanhanen's Cabinet 2003–2007. Finnish Government. Archived from the original on 2007-12-15. Retrieved 2008-09-02. 
  3. ^ "Kulttuuriministeri Tanja Karpela". Jäätteenmäen hallitus 2003 (in Finnish). Finnish Government. Retrieved 2008-09-02. [dead link]
  4. ^ "EFFIn Big Brother -palkinnot EU:n ministerineuvostolle, juorulehdille, Karpelalle" (Press release) (in Finnish). Electronic Frontier Finland - EFFI ry. 2005-12-07. Retrieved 2008-09-02. 
  5. ^ "Säädöksille käytännössä vakiintuneita nimikkeitä". FINLEX database of Finnish legislation (in Finnish). Finnish Ministry of Justice / Edita Ltd. Retrieved 2008-09-02. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Kaikki Tanjan miehet: Huh, mitä suhdesoppaa!". MTV3 (in Finnish). 2008-07-15. Retrieved 2008-09-02. 
  7. ^ http://www.mtv3.fi/viihde/uutiset/muut.shtml/797569?missit
  8. ^ http://www.seiska.fi/julkkisbiot/abc/s/_a69387/
  9. ^ "Finnish politicians reveal engagement". Nordic Business Report. 2003-11-27. Retrieved 2008-09-02. 
  10. ^ "News in Brief: Sauli Niinistö for a Presidential Candidate" (PDF). Oulun Ylioppilaslehti. 6/2005: 6. 2005-04-15. Retrieved 2008-09-02. [dead link]
  11. ^ "Tanja Karpela avioon". MTV3 (in Finnish). 2006-05-21. Retrieved 2008-09-02. 
  12. ^ "Tanja Saarela hakee avioeroa". MTV3 (in Finnish). 2007-11-24. Retrieved 2008-09-02. 
  13. ^ "Tanja Saarela on taas Karpela". Iltalehti (in Finnish). 2008-02-26. Retrieved 2008-09-02. 

External links[edit]