Mümtaz Soysal

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Prof. Dr.
Mümtaz Soysal
30th Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
27 July 1994 – 28 November 1994
Prime Minister Tansu Çiller
Preceded by Hikmet Çetin
Succeeded by Murat Karayalçın
Member of the Constituent Assembly
as a representative of the CHP
In office
6 January 1961 – 25 October 1961
Member of the Grand National Assembly
In office
20 October 1991 – 22 March 1999 (resign)
Constituency Ankara from SHP (1991),
Zonguldak from DSP (1995)
1st Chairman of the Independent Republican Party
In office
24 July 2002 – April 2014
Preceded by Inaugural holder
Succeeded by Mühibe Müge Gülses
Personal details
Born Osman Mümtaz Soysal
(1929-09-15) 15 September 1929 (age 88)
Zonguldak, Turkey
Nationality Turkish
Political party Republican People's Party (CHP)
Social Democratic Populist Party (SHP)
Democratic Left Party (DSP)
Independent Republican Party (BCP)
Other political
Yön movement
Socialist Cultural Association
Amnesty International
Spouse(s) Sevgi Soysal (m. 1971; d. 1976)
Sevinç Karasapan Soysal
Alma mater Ankara University Faculties of Political Sciences and Law
London School of Economics
Occupation Constitution writing, conflict resolution, foreign policy, human rights, statism, anti-privatisation
Profession Academic, jurist, politician, author
Awards UNESCO Prize for Human Rights Education (1978)

Osman Mümtaz Soysal (born September 15, 1929) is a Turkish professor of constitutional law, political scientist, Kemalist politician, human rights activist, ex-prisoner of conscience, senior advisor, columnist and author.

Mümtaz Soysal served as the 30th Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1994. He was a Member of Parliament at Constituent Assembly in 1961 and Grand National Assembly from 1991 to 1999.

He actively contributed to constitutions of Turkey (1961) and the DR Congo (2006). He was constitutional advisor of the President of Northern Cyprus Rauf Denktaş.

He elected to Amnesty International International Executive Committee in September 1974 as the first Turkish and the first ex-prisoner of conscience member ever. He served as the vice-chairman of Amnesty International from 1976 to 1978. He became the first winner of the UNESCO Prize for Human Rights Education in 1978.

As a hardline Kemalist statist, Mümtaz Soysal persistently worked against privatisation policies and initiatives of Turkish governments, especially in the 1990s. He founded Center for Development of Public Enterprise in April 1994, and the organisation was converted to a foundation in 1996.

Mümtaz Soysal was members of the Republican People's Party, the Social Democratic Populist Party and the Democratic Left Party. In 2002, he founded the Independent Republican Party with many academics and served as the first chairman of the party from 2002 to 2014.[1]


He was born on 15 September 1929 in Zonguldak, Turkey to Osman Muhtar, a naval kol aghassi and his wife Samiye. He was a Professor of Constitutional Law at Ankara University for many years. He is also one of the founders of Yön, a political magazine founded in 1961.[2] After the 1971 Turkish coup d'état he was detained for some months, and was listed as an Amnesty International prisoner of conscience.[3] In 1974, he became the first former prisoner of conscience to serve on the International Executive Committee of Amnesty International.[4]

Personal life[edit]

He was married to Sevgi Soysal (till her death in 1976). Later he married with Sevinç Karasapan Soysal. He has two daughters, Defne (1973) and Funda (1975) and two step-sons.


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Hikmet Çetin
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey
Jul 27, 1994–Nov 28, 1994
Succeeded by
Murat Karayalçın
Party political offices
Preceded by
Inaugural holder
Leader of the Independent Republican Party (BCP)
Jul 24, 2002–May 16, 2014
Succeeded by
Mühibe Müge Gülses