Hüseyin Çelik

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Hüseyin Çelik
Hüseyin Çelik 2008.jpg
Minister of National Education
In office
March 14, 2003 – May 1, 2009
Prime MinisterAbdullah Gül
Preceded byErkan Mumcu
Succeeded byNimet Çubukçu
Minister of Culture
In office
November 19, 2002 – March 14, 2003
Prime MinisterRecep Tayyip Erdoğan
Preceded bySuat Çağlayan
Succeeded byErkan Mumcu
Member of the Grand National Assembly
In office
18 April 1999 – 7 June 2015
ConstituencyVan (1999, 2002, 2007)
Gaziantep (2011)
Personal details
Born (1959-03-05) 5 March 1959 (age 62)
Van, Turkey
Political partyJustice and Development Party (AKP) (2001- )
True Path Party (DYP)
Spouse(s)Şahsenem Çelik
Alma materIstanbul University
University of London

Hüseyin Çelik (born 5 March 1959 in Gürpınar, Van) is a former Minister of National Education of Turkey and member of parliament for Van for the Justice and Development Party (AKP).


Çelik was the first advisor of Recep Tayyip Erdogan and later became the minister of culture and tourism. After that, he became the Minister of National Education. He was the spokesperson of the Turkish Parliament and AKP. Also, in the past, Çelik graduated in Turkish language and literature from Istanbul University in 1983 and went on to a career as an academic at Van Yüzüncü Yıl Üniversitesi, eventually becoming assistant professor in 1997. From 1988-1991 he studied towards a master's degree in politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies in the University of London. His focus was on the late-Ottoman Empire writer and thinker Ali Suavi.


During the 1990s he wrote a column on Ottoman era politics and other issues for the nationalist-leaning social and political science journal Türkiye Günlüğü. He has published 15 books on politics, culture, history etc. has also edited and annotated an edition of the work "Şinasi" by Ottoman writer Ziyad Ebuzziya.

Political career[edit]

He was elected to parliament for Van as a member of Suleyman Demirel's DYP in 1999, moving to the newly founded AK Party in 2001. He was elected parliamentary chief and then following the AK Party's election victory in 2003, he became Minister of Culture and then Minister of Education.

During his brief tenure as Minister of Culture he is remembered for immediately sacking the entire Board for the Protection of Culture and Nature (Turkish: Kültür ve Tabiat Varlıklarını Koruma Kurulu).[1] Regional bodies set up to monitor archaeology and other research throughout the country, led by architect and champion of Anatolia's cultural heritage Oktay Ekinci, one of those dismissed. Çelik was then accused of taking this action under pressure from AK Party MP for Muğla Hasan Özyer in order to enable the Muğla coastline to be developed for mass-market tourism.[2]

Minister of Education (2003 - 2009)[edit]

As Minister of Education as well as curriculum reform and all the day-to-day running of the school system, Çelik has had to deal with a number of issues including:

  • pressure from the European Union to re-open the Greek Orthodox Halki seminary school in Istanbul.
  • pressure from graduates and parents, the majority of them AK Party voters, to change the rules that currently limit graduates of the conservative Imam Hatip schools to studying only religious studies at university.
  • a number of clashes with the Higher Education Board over issues ranging from the Imam Hatip issue to the appointment and dismissal of individual university rectors.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Çelik is of Arab descent on his father's side and of Kurdish descent on his mother's side.[4] He is married to Şahsenem Çelik and they have three children; Ali Ekrem, Enis, and Büşra Vuslat.


  1. ^ "Bakan Çelik'ten kurul savunması". Kültür/Sanat. Radikal (in Turkish). 2003-02-25. Retrieved 2008-10-11.
  2. ^ Çalışlar, Oral (2003-02-21). Cumhuriyet
  3. ^ "Çelik'ten PKK'lı akraba iddiasına yanıt". Archived from the original on December 31, 2007., CNNTURK
  4. ^ Yaklaşık 5-6 milyon Türk-Kürt evliliği var, Sabah, 2010

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Erkan Mumcu
Minister of National Education of Turkey
March 14, 2003–May 1, 2009
Succeeded by
Nimet Çubukçu
Preceded by
Suat Çağlayan
Minister of Culture of Turkey
November 19, 2002–March 14, 2003
Succeeded by
Erkan Mumcu