Necmettin Erbakan

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Necmettin Erbakan
Necmettin Erbakan.jpg
23rd Prime Minister of Turkey
In office
28 June 1996 30 June 1997
President Süleyman Demirel
Deputy Tansu Çiller
Preceded by Mesut Yılmaz
Succeeded by Mesut Yılmaz
Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey
In office
21 July 1977 5 January 1978
serving alongside Alparslan Türkeş
Prime Minister Süleyman Demirel
Preceded by Orhan Eyüboğlu
Succeeded by Orhan Eyüboğlu
In office
31 March 1975 21 June 1977
serving alongside Turhan Feyzioğlu and Alparslan Türkeş
Prime Minister Süleyman Demirel
Preceded by Zeyyat Baykara
Succeeded by Orhan Eyüboğlu
In office
26 January 1974 17 November 1974
Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit
Preceded by Sadi Koçaş
Succeeded by Zeyyat Baykara
Leader of the Felicity Party
In office
17 October 2010 27 February 2011
Preceded by Numan Kurtulmuş
Succeeded by Mustafa Kamalak
In office
11 May 2003 30 January 2004
Preceded by Recai Kutan
Succeeded by Recai Kutan
Leader of the Welfare Party
In office
11 October 1987 19 January 1998
Preceded by Ahmet Tekdal
Succeeded byParty abolished
Leader of the National Salvation Party
In office
20 October 1973 12 September 1980
Preceded by Süleyman Arif Emre
Succeeded by Party abolished
Leader of the National Order Party
In office
26 January 1970 20 May 1971
Preceded byParty established
Succeeded byParty abolished
(Süleyman Arif Emre as leader of the National Salvation Party)
Member of the Grand National Assembly
In office
20 October 1991 18 April 1999
Constituency Konya (1991, 1995)
In office
12 October 1969 12 September 1980
Constituency Konya (1969, 1973, 1977)
Personal details
Born(1926-10-29)29 October 1926
Sinop, Turkey
Died 27 February 2011(2011-02-27) (aged 84)
Çankaya, Ankara, Turkey
Political party National Order Party (1970–71)
National Salvation Party (1972–1981)
Welfare Party (1987–1998)
Virtue Party (1998–2001)
Felicity Party (2003–2011)
Spouse(s) Nermin Erbakan (m. 1967–2005, her death)
Children Zeynep, Elif, Fatih
Alma mater Istanbul Technical University
RWTH Aachen University
Signature Necmettin Erbakan signature.png

Necmettin Erbakan (29 October 1926 – 27 February 2011) was a Turkish politician, engineer, and academic who was the Prime Minister of Turkey from 1996 to 1997. He was pressured by the military to step down as prime minister and was later banned from politics by the Constitutional Court of Turkey for violating the separation of religion and state as mandated by the constitution. [1] [2]

Turkish people or the Turks, also known as Anatolian Turks, are a Turkic ethnic group and nation living mainly in Turkey and speaking Turkish, the most widely spoken Turkic language. They are the largest ethnic group in Turkey, as well as by far the largest ethnic group among the speakers of Turkic languages. Ethnic Turkish minorities exist in the former lands of the Ottoman Empire. In addition, a Turkish diaspora has been established with modern migration, particularly in Western Europe.

Engineer Professional practitioner of engineering and its sub classes

Engineers, as practitioners of engineering, are professionals who invent, design, analyze, build, and test machines, systems, structures and materials to fulfill objectives and requirements while considering the limitations imposed by practicality, regulation, safety, and cost. The word engineer is derived from the Latin words ingeniare and ingenium ("cleverness"). The foundational qualifications of an engineer typically include a four-year bachelor's degree in an engineering discipline, or in some jurisdictions, a master's degree in an engineering discipline plus four to six years of peer-reviewed professional practice and passage of engineering board examinations.

Prime Minister of Turkey head of government of Turkey until 9 July 2018

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey was the head of government of the Republic of Turkey from 1920 to 2018. The prime minister was the leader of a political coalition in the Turkish parliament (Meclis) and the leader of the cabinet. The last holder of the position is Binali Yıldırım of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), who took office on 24 May 2016.


The political ideology and movement founded by Erbakan, Millî Görüş, calls for the strengthening of Islamic values in Turkey and turning away from what Erbakan perceived to be the negative secular influence of the Western world in favor of closer relations to Muslim countries. Erbakan's political views conflicted with the core principle of secularism in Turkey, culminating in his removal from office. With the Millî Görüş ideology, Erbakan was the founder and leader of several prominent Islamic political parties in Turkey from the 1960s to the 2010s, namely the National Order Party (MNP), the National Salvation Party (MSP), the Welfare Party (RP), the Virtue Party (FP), and the Felicity Party (SP).

Millî Görüş Islamic organization

Millî Görüş is a religio-political movement and a series of Islamist parties inspired by Necmettin Erbakan. It has been called one of "the leading Turkish diaspora organizations in Europe" and also described as the largest Islamic organization operating in the West. Founded in 1969, the movement claimed to have "87,000 members across Europe, including 50,000 in Germany," as of 2005. The term also refers to the "religious vision" of the organization that emphasizes the moral and spiritual strength of Islamic faith (Iman) and explains the Muslim world's decline as a result of its imitation of Western values and inappropriate use of Western technology. The Movement is active in nearly all European countries and also countries like Australia Canada and the United States.

Anti-Western sentiment

Anti-Western sentiment, also known as Anti-Atlanticism, or Westenophobia refers to broad opposition, bias, or hostility to the people, Western Culture, Western Values, or policies of the Western World.

Western world Countries that identify themselves with an originally European—since the Cold War, US American—shared culture

The Western world, also known as the West, refers to various nations depending on the context, most often including at least part of Europe, Australasia, and the Americas, with the status of Latin America in dispute. There are many accepted definitions, all closely interrelated. The Western world is also known as the Occident, in contrast to the Orient, or Eastern world.

Early life and education

Erbakan was born in Sinop, at the coast of Black Sea in northern Turkey. [3] His father was Mehmet Sabri, a judge from the prestigious Kozanoğlu family (Oghuz Turks, Afshar tribe) of Cilicia and his mother Kamer was a native of Sinop and the second wife of Mehmet Sabri. [4]

Sinop, Turkey Municipality in Black Sea, Turkey

Sinop is a city with a population of 36,734 on the isthmus of İnce Burun, near Cape Sinope which is situated on the most northern edge of the Turkish side of the Black Sea coast, in the ancient region of Paphlagonia, in modern-day northern Turkey. The city serves as the capital of Sinop Province.

Black Sea Marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean between Europe and Asia

The Black Sea is a body of water and marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean between the Balkans, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Western Asia. It is supplied by a number of major rivers, such as the Danube, Dnieper, Southern Bug, Dniester, Don, and the Rioni. Many countries drain into the Black Sea, including Austria, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey and Ukraine.

Oghuz Turks

The Oghuz, Oguz or Ghuzz Turks were a western Turkic people who spoke the Oghuz languages from the Common branch of Turkic language family. In the 8th century, they formed a tribal confederation conventionally named the Oghuz Yabgu State in central Asia. The name Oghuz is a Common Turkic word for "tribe". Byzantine sources call the Oghuz the Uzes. By the 10th century, Islamic sources were calling them Muslim Turkmens, as opposed to shamanist or Buddhist. By the 12th century this term had passed into Byzantine usage and the Oghuzes were overwhelmingly Muslim.

After high school education in Istanbul High School, he graduated from the Mechanical Engineering Faculty at the Istanbul Technical University in 1948, and received a PhD degree in mechanical/engine engineering from the RWTH Aachen University. [3] After returning to Turkey, Erbakan became lecturer at the İTÜ and was appointed professor in 1965 at the same university. [3] After working some time in leading positions in the industry, he switched over to politics, and was elected deputy of Konya in 1969. [3] He was a member of the Community of İskenderpaşa, a Turkish sufistic community of the Naqshbandi tariqah. [5]

Istanbul High School high school

İstanbul High School, also commonly known as İstanbul Erkek Lisesi, abbreviated İEL, is one of the oldest and internationally renowned high schools of Turkey. The school is considered elite among Turkish public high schools. Germany recognizes the school as a Deutsche Auslandsschule.

Istanbul Technical University university in Turkey

Istanbul Technical University is an international technical university located in Istanbul, Turkey. It is the world's third-oldest technical university dedicated to engineering sciences as well as social sciences recently, and is one of the most prominent educational institutions in Turkey. ITU is ranked 173rd worldwide in the field of Engineering & Technology and 307th worldwide in the field of Natural Sciences by the QS World University Rankings in 2016. Graduates of İstanbul technical university have received many TUBITAK science and TUBA awards. Numerous graduates have also become members of the academy of sciences in the U.S.A, Britain and Russia. The university's basketball team, ITUSpor, is in the Turkish Basketball Second League. The university has 39 undergraduate, 144 graduate programs, 13 colleges, 346 labs and 12 research centers. Its student-to-faculty ratio is 12:1.

RWTH Aachen University university in Aachen, Germany

RWTH Aachen University or Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen is a research university located in Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. With more than 42,000 students enrolled in 144 study programs, it is the largest technical university in Germany.

Political activities

Erbakan's ideology is set forth in a manifesto, entitled Millî Görüş (National View), which he published in 1969. [3] The organisation of the same name, which he founded and of which he was the leader, upholds nowadays that the word "national" is to be understood in the sense of monotheistic ecumenism. [6] [7]

Manifesto published declaration of principles and intentions of an individual or group

A manifesto is a published declaration of the intentions, motives, or views of the issuer, be it an individual, group, political party or government. A manifesto usually accepts a previously published opinion or public consensus or promotes a new idea with prescriptive notions for carrying out changes the author believes should be made. It often is political or artistic in nature, but may present an individual's life stance. Manifestos relating to religious belief are generally referred to as creeds.

Monotheism is defined as the belief in the existence of only one god that created the world, is all-powerful and intervenes in the world. A broader definition of monotheism is the belief in one god. A distinction may be made between exclusive monotheism, and both inclusive monotheism and pluriform (panentheistic) monotheism which, while recognising various distinct gods, postulate some underlying unity.

Ecumenism Cooperation between Christian denominations

The term "ecumenism" refers to efforts by Christians of different Church traditions to develop closer relationships and better understandings. The term is also often used to refer to efforts towards the visible and organic unity of different Christian denominations in some form.

One of the leading names in Turkish politics for decades, Erbakan was the leader of a series of Islamic political parties that he founded or inspired. These parties rose to prominence only to be banned by Turkey's secular authorities. In the 1970s, Erbakan was chairman of the National Salvation Party which, at its peak, served in coalition government with the Republican People's Party of Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit during the Cyprus crisis of 1974.

The National Salvation Party was an Islamist political party in Turkey founded on 11 October 1972 as the successor of the banned National Order Party. The party was led by Necmettin Erbakan. The party grew more popular, in 1973 elections it gained 11.8% of votes and was granted 48 seats in the Turkish Grand National Assembly, in 1977 elections it gained 8.56% of votes and won 24 seats. In 1974 it formed the coalition government with the secularist Republican People's Party (CHP) of Bülent Ecevit. MSP was closed down after the 1980 military coup.

37th government of Turkey

The 37th government of Turkey was a coalition government of the Republican People's Party (CHP) and the National Salvation Party (MSP) in 1974. The prime minister was Bülent Ecevit of the CHP, and the deputy prime minister was Necmettin Erbakan of the MSP.

Republican Peoples Party (Turkey) social-democratic political party in Turkey

The Republican People's Party is a Kemalist, social-democratic political party in Turkey. It is the oldest political party in the country, and is currently the main opposition in the Grand National Assembly. The CHP describes itself as "a modern social democratic party, which is faithful to the founding principles and values of the Republic of Turkey". The party is cited as "the founding party of modern Turkey". Its logo consists of the Six Arrows, which represent the foundational principles of Kemalism: republicanism, nationalism, statism, populism, laicism, and reformism.

In the wake of the 1980 military coup, Erbakan and his party were banned from politics. [3] He reemerged following a referendum to lift the ban in 1987 and became the leader of Refah Partisi (Welfare Party). [3] His party benefited in the 1990s from the acrimony between the leaders of Turkey's two most prominent conservative parties, Mesut Yılmaz and Tansu Çiller. He led his party to a surprise success in the general elections of 1995.


He became Prime Minister in 1996 in coalition with Çiller's Doğru Yol Partisi (Right Path Party). As prime minister, he attempted to further Turkey's relations with the Arab nations. [3] In addition to trying to follow an economic welfare program, which was supposedly intended to increase welfare among Turkish citizens, the government tried to implement a multi-dimensional political approach to relations with the neighboring countries.

Erbakan's image was damaged by his famous speech making fun of the nightly demonstrations against the Susurluk scandal. He was widely blamed at the time for his indifference. The Turkish military gradually increased the urgency[ clarification needed ] and frequency of its public warnings to Erbakan's government, eventually prompting Erbakan to step down in 1997[ citation needed ].

At the time there was a formal deal between Erbakan and Tansu Çiller, the leaders of the coalition, for a "period based premiership"[ citation needed ]. According to this, Erbakan was to act as the prime minister for a certain period (a fixed amount of time, which was not publicized), then he would step down in favour of Çiller. However, Ciller's party was the third-largest in the parliament, and when Erbakan stepped down, President Süleyman Demirel asked Mesut Yılmaz, leader of the second-largest party, to form a new government instead.


In an unprecedented move, Erbakan's ruling Welfare Party was subsequently banned by the courts, which held that the party had an agenda to promote Islamic fundamentalism in the state, and Erbakan was barred once again from active politics. [8] He had argued that a truly democratic country should not shut down a political party for its beliefs.

He was tried and sentenced to two years and four months imprisonment in the so-called Lost Trillion Case, which involved the use of forged documents to prevent the return of Treasury grants in the amount of around one trillion lira, i.e. one million Turkish lira symbol 8x10px.png in today's currency (around 477,000) following the ban of the party in 1997. [9] [10]

Despite often being under political ban, Erbakan nonetheless acted as a mentor and informal advisor to former Refah members who founded the Virtue Party in 1997, among them the current President of the Turkish Republic, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The Virtue Party was found unconstitutional in 2001 and forcibly banned; by that time Erbakan's ban on political activities had ended, and he founded the Felicity Party, of which he was the leader in 2003–2004 and again from 2010 [11] until his death.


Grave of Necmettin Erbakan and his family at Merkezefendi Cemetery in Istanbul Erbakan ailesi kabristani.jpg
Grave of Necmettin Erbakan and his family at Merkezefendi Cemetery in Istanbul

Erbakan died on 27 February 2011 at 11:40 local time of heart failure at Güven Hospital in Çankaya, Ankara. [12]

His body was transferred to Istanbul, and following the religious funeral service at the Fatih Mosque, the attending crowd accompanied his coffin the about 4 km (2.5 mi) way to the Merkezefendi Cemetery, where he was laid to rest beside his wife Nermin. He did not wish a state funeral, however his funeral was attended by highest state and government officials. [13]

According to The Economist , at his death Erbakan was acknowledged as a moderating force on Turkey's Islamists, and made Turkey as a possible model for the Arab world as well [14] . However, he gave the path way to the rise of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.


His foreign policy had two main pillars: Pan-Islamism, and struggle against Zionism. He created "D-8" or The Developing Eight, to achieve an economic and political unity among Muslim countries. It has eight members, including Turkey, Iran, Malaysia, Indonesia, Egypt, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nigeria.

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  1. BBC. Ex-Turkish PM sentenced, March 2000
  2. BBC. Turkey Bans Islamists, January 1998
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "85 yıllık yaşamından kesitler" (in Turkish). 27 February 2011. Retrieved 28 February 2011.
  4. Prof. Dr. Necmettin Erbakan'in soyu ve dogumu Archived 2011-07-18 at the Wayback Machine .
  5. Radikal: "Nakşibendi şeyhi öldü - Nakşibendi tarikatının ünlü kollarından İskender Paşa cemaatinin şeyhi Coşan, Avustralya'da trafik kazasında yaşamını yitirdi. Aynı kazada ölen Uyarel, şeyhin olası haleflerinden sayılıyordu" 5 Şubat 2001
  6. Statement of the IGMG Archived 2007-06-20 at the Wayback Machine . (Islamische Gemeinschaft Milli Görüş e. V.) to the 2002 report of the German State Office for the Protection of the Constitution of North Rhine-Westphalia (in German)
  7. Wer ist Milli Görüs? (Who is Milli Görüs?), German daily Die Tageszeitung, May 7, 2004 (in German)
  8. "Turkish party given another week to justify existence". BBC News. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
  9. "Leaders of now-defunct Welfare Party stand trial for fraud". Hürriyet Daily News . 1999-02-09. Retrieved 2014-11-27.
  10. "Former President Gül testifies to prosecutors in 'lost trillion case'". Today's Zaman . 2014-11-19. Archived from the original on 2014-11-29. Retrieved 2014-11-27.
  11. "84-year-old Erbakan elected Felicity Party leader". Today's Zaman . October 18, 2010. Retrieved October 18, 2010.
  12. "Necmettin Erbakan vefat etti". Ntvmsnbc (in Turkish). Retrieved 2011-02-27.
  13. "Erbakan son yolculuğuna uğurlandı 2011-03-01". Hürriyet (in Turkish). Retrieved 2011-10-14.
Political offices
Preceded by
Kemal Satır
Nizamettin Erkmen
Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey
January 28, 1974 – November 17, 1974
Succeeded by
Zeyyat Baykara
Preceded by
Zeyyat Baykara
Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey
March 31, 1975 – June 21, 1977
Succeeded by
Turan Güneş
Orhan Eyüboğlu
Preceded by
Turan Güneş
Orhan Eyüboğlu
Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey
July 21, 1977 – January 5, 1978
Succeeded by
Orhan Eyüboğlu
Preceded by
Mesut Yılmaz
Prime Minister of Turkey
June 28, 1996 – June 30, 1997
Succeeded by
Mesut Yılmaz
Party political offices
New political party Leader of the National Order Party (MNP)
January 26, 1970 – May 20, 1971
Party banned
Preceded by
Süleyman Arif Emre
Leader of the National Salvation Party (MSP)
October 20, 1973 – September 12, 1980
Party banned
Preceded by
Ahmet Tekdal
Leader of the Welfare Party (RP)
October 11, 1987 – January 16, 1998
Succeeded by
Recai Kutan of the Virtue Party
Preceded by
Recai Kutan
Leader of the Felicity Party (SP)
May 11, 2003 – January 30, 2004
Succeeded by
Recai Kutan
Preceded by
Numan Kurtulmuş
Leader of the Felicity Party (SP)
October 17, 2010 – February 27, 2011
Succeeded by
Mustafa Kamalak
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Sırrı Enver Batur
President of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey
May 25, 1969 – August 8, 1969
Succeeded by
Sırrı Enver Batur