Ali Babacan

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Ali Babacan

Ali Babacan - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2012 crop.jpg
Babacan during the WEF 2012
Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey
In office
1 May 2009 – 28 August 2015
Prime MinisterRecep Tayyip Erdoğan
Ahmet Davutoğlu
Serving withBülent Arınç
Beşir Atalay
Bekir Bozdağ
Emrullah İşler
Yalçın Akdoğan
Numan Kurtulmuş
Preceded byNazım Ekren
Succeeded byCevdet Yılmaz
41st Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
29 August 2007 – 1 May 2009
Prime MinisterRecep Tayyip Erdoğan
Preceded byAbdullah Gül
Succeeded byAhmet Davutoğlu
Chief Negotiator for Turkish Accession to the European Union
In office
17 January 2005 – 11 January 2009
Prime MinisterRecep Tayyip Erdoğan
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byEgemen Bağış
Minister of Economic Affairs
In office
18 November 2002 – 29 August 2007
Prime MinisterAbdullah Gül
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Preceded byMasum Türker
Succeeded byMehmet Şimşek
Member of the Grand National Assembly
In office
1 November 2015 – 9 July 2018
ConstituencyAnkara (I) (Nov 2015)
In office
19 November 2002 – 7 June 2015
ConstituencyAnkara (I) (2002, 2007, 2011)
Personal details
Born (1967-04-04) 4 April 1967 (age 52)
Ankara, Turkey
Political partyJustice and Development Party (2001–2019)
Spouse(s)Ülkü Zeynep Babacan (1995–present)
Alma materMiddle East Technical University
Northwestern University

Ali Babacan (Turkish pronunciation: [aˈli babaˈdʒan]; born 4 April 1967) is a Turkish politician. He is member of the parliament and former Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey responsible for the Economy. He first served as the Minister of State in charge of economic affairs in the 58th cabinet from the Justice and Development Party (AK Party). He retained this position throughout the 58th and 59th Governments of the Republic of Turkey. On 29 August 2007 he was appointed as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the 60th Government of the Republic of Turkey.[1] During 2009–2015 he served as the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic and Financial Affairs of Turkey. He is married with three children.[2] In 2019, Babacan left the AKP, citing “deep differences” over the party’s direction as a reason.


Babacan graduated from Ankara College ranking first among the class of 1985.[3] He attended the Middle East Technical University in Ankara and in 1989 was awarded a BSc in Industrial Engineering with the highest marks.[3] He went to the U.S. on a Fulbright Scholarship to do postgraduate studies and in 1992 received an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, with majors in marketing, organizational behavior and international business.[3]

Career in finance[edit]

Babacan worked then for two years as an associate at QRM, Inc. in Chicago, Illinois, a company doing financial consulting to the top executives of major banks in the United States.[3] He returned to Turkey in 1994 and, served as chief advisor to the mayor of Ankara the same year. He was the chairman of his family owned textile company between 1994 and 2002.[4]

Political life[edit]

Babacan speaks to United States President Barack Obama, along with other Turkish, Swiss and Armenian foreign ministers.

He entered politics in 2001 as a co-founder and a Board member of the Justice and Development Party [5] and was elected to parliament as deputy for Ankara on 3 November 2002. He was appointed Minister of Economy on 18 November 2002 and became the youngest member of the cabinet, then at the age of 35.[6]

Babacan had the duty to steer a painful economic reform program, which was backed by multibillion-dollar IMF loans; with its help Turkish economy achieved a remarkable recovery after two severe crises. He stayed always away from the rough-and-tumble of the Turkish political arena and focused solely on the economic reform, acting rather as a technocrat without indulging into populism.

On 24 May 2005 Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced his appointment as chief negotiator in Turkey's accession talks with the European Union,[7] which started on 3 October 2005.[8]

As government minister Babacan has attended several international meetings including the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and the Bilderberg Group.

After some AK Party figures,[9] have been implicitly criticizing Babacan and implying that he is linked with Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen[10] he wasn't appointed to any ministerial position in the last Cabinet.

In 2019, Babacan left the ruling AKP, citing “deep differences” over the party’s direction as a reason. He is also widely expected to establish his own party.[11]

Babacan confirmed his intent to form this party in a late 2019 interview with journalist Şirin Payzın of T24, and expects his party to be a "mainstream party" with particular focuses on minority rights, a return to Turkey's parliamentary system, fair processes in courts and legislation, and restoring freedom of speech and expression. The party is expected to emerge at some time in 2020. Babacan is quoted that "the nation will give our party its name," hence its current lack of name or other identification. [12]


  1. ^ "From Rep. of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs". Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  3. ^ a b c d "Başbakan ve bakanların özgeçmişleri" (in Turkish). 3 September 2007. Retrieved 13 January 2011.
  4. ^ citation needed
  5. ^ "Meclis'in 6. partisi" (in Turkish). 15 August 2001. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2011.
  6. ^ "58. Hükümet'in profili" (in Turkish). 18 November 2002. Retrieved 13 January 2011.
  7. ^ "Başmüzakereci Ali Babacan" (in Turkish). 29 May 2005. Retrieved 13 January 2011.
  8. ^ "Türkiye-AB müzakereleri resmen başladı" (in Turkish). 4 October 2005. Retrieved 13 January 2011.
  9. ^ "Yiğit Bulut'tan "Babacan da Gülenci" açıklaması!".
  10. ^ "Deputy PM Babacan summons economy team in September amid questions over his future - Latest News". Hürriyet Daily News.
  11. ^ "Subscribe to read". Financial Times. Retrieved 2019-07-19.
  12. ^ "Ali Babacan yeni partinin ne zaman kurulacağını açıkladı". soL Haber (in Turkish). Retrieved 2019-12-27.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Masum Türker
Minister of Economic Affairs
Succeeded by
Mehmet Şimşek
Preceded by
Abdullah Gül
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Ahmet Davutoğlu
Preceded by
Nazım Ekren
Second Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey
Succeeded by
Cevdet Yılmaz