Ciller, Tansu


Ciller, Tansu
▪ 1994

      In a year filled with extraordinary departures from the status quo, the election in 1993 of Tansu Ciller as prime minister of Turkey nonetheless ranked as remarkable. It was not so much Ciller's meteoric rise in politics or her overcoming of the opposition of Turkey's longtime leader Suleyman Demirel that made this elevation to head of state so noteworthy. Rather, what made Ciller's election revolutionary was a matter of gender. On June 25, 1993, she officially became Turkey's first woman prime minister and, perhaps even more noteworthy, the first female without a family political connection to head an Islamic country.

      Ciller was born in 1946 to an affluent family in Istanbul, where she later graduated from the University of Bosporus with a degree in economics. She continued her studies in the United States, earning graduate degrees from the Universities of New Hampshire and Connecticut and attending Yale University. Ciller then returned to Turkey to teach and, at the age of 36, she became the nation's youngest full professor. Moreover, at the age of 17 she had married a man whom she persuaded to take her surname (a departure from custom almost without precedent in Turkey). Together with her husband, the owner of a chain of convenience stores and a former banker, she amassed a fortune of some $60 million through real estate speculation.

      Though she was wealthy, attractive, intellectually accomplished, and professionally prominent (she was fluent in English and German and the author of nine works on economics), Ciller harboured political aspirations. She joined the ruling True Path Party (DYP) in 1990, was elected to Parliament the following year (one of eight women in the 450-seat legislative assembly), and was named economics minister in Demirel's coalition government. Although she advocated greater privatization of state-owned firms and a balanced budget, it was during her tenure as economics minister that government debt soared, inflation climbed to 65%, and the country suffered a downgrading of its international credit rating.

      Despite these woes, the DYP selected Ciller as its leader at a special party conference on June 13, 1993. The office of prime minister had been vacant since Demirel's election as president in May following the death of Pres. Turgut Ozal (see OBITUARIES (Ozal, Turgut )) in April. When Ciller presented her Cabinet, more than half the ministers were new, and many longtime Demirel supporters were out of policy-making positions.

      As she assumed power in Turkey, Ciller's greatest challenges included dealing both with the rising tide of violence among Kurds in southeastern Turkey and with the pressing need to reduce government spending. Though Ciller faced difficult choices, she appeared ready to make tough decisions. (JEROLD L. KELLMAN)

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▪ Turkish politician
born 1946, Istanbul, Turkey
 
 Turkish economist and politician, who was Turkey's first woman prime minister (1993–96) and the first female to head a Middle Eastern Muslim country.

      Ciller was born to an affluent family in Istanbul. After graduating from the University of the Bosporus with a degree in economics, she continued her studies in the United States, where she earned graduate degrees from the Universities of New Hampshire and Connecticut and attended Yale University. Ciller returned to Turkey to teach and, at age 36, became the nation's youngest full professor. Together with her husband, she amassed some $60 million through real estate speculation.

      Ciller joined the ruling True Path Party (Doǧru Yol Partisi; DYP) in 1990. The following year she was elected to parliament and was named economics minister in Prime Minister Süleyman Demirel (Demirel, Süleyman)'s coalition government. Although she advocated greater privatization of state-owned firms and a balanced budget, it was during her tenure as economics minister that government debt soared and the country suffered a downgrading of its international credit rating. Despite these woes, Ciller was selected to replace Demirel as prime minister in 1993.

      As she assumed power, Ciller faced the growing violence of Kurds in southeastern Turkey and the pressing need to reduce government spending. In 1995 the DYP's coalition collapsed, but Ciller stayed on as caretaker prime minister until 1996, when her party and the Motherland Party formed a coalition that promptly fell apart. Ciller was reelected as the DYP's leader in 1999, but, after the party fared poorly in the 2002 elections, she stepped down.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Tansu Çiller — Prime Minister of Turkey In office 25 June 1993 – 6 March 1996 President Süleyman Demirel Preceded by Süleyman Demirel Succeeded by Mesut Yılmaz …   Wikipedia

  • Tansu Ciller — Tansu Çiller (* 24. Mai 1946 in Istanbul) ist eine türkische Politikerin. Sie war von 1993 bis 1996 die erste und bislang einzige Frau im Amt des Ministerpräsidenten der Türkei. Nach einem Studium der Wirtschaftswissenschaften an der Bosporus… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ciller — Tansu Çiller (* 24. Mai 1946 in Istanbul) ist eine türkische Politikerin. Sie war von 1993 bis 1996 die erste und bislang einzige Frau im Amt des Ministerpräsidenten der Türkei. Nach einem Studium der Wirtschaftswissenschaften an der Bosporus… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Çiller — Tansu Çiller (* 24. Mai 1946 in Istanbul) ist eine türkische Politikerin. Sie war von 1993 bis 1996 die erste und bislang einzige Frau im Amt des Ministerpräsidenten der Türkei. Nach einem Studium der Wirtschaftswissenschaften an der Bosporus… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Tansu Ciller — Tansu Çiller Tansu Çiller 24e Premier ministre de la Turquie …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Tansu Çiller — (* 24. Mai 1946 in Istanbul) ist eine türkische Politikerin. Sie war von 1993 bis 1996 die erste und bislang einzige Frau im Amt des Ministerpräsidenten der Türkei. Nach einem Studium der Wirtschaftswissenschaften an der Bosporus Universität, der …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Tansu Çiller — (* Estambul, 1946 ) es una política turca. Fue la primera mujer en ocupar el cargo de Primera Ministra en su país, de 1993 a 1996. Biografía Nació el 24 de mayo de 1946, en Estambul. Hija del gobernador turco de la provincia de Bilecik. Está… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Çiller —   [ tʃilər], Tansu, türkische Politikerin, * Istanbul 1946; Wirtschaftswissenschaftlerin, ab 1983 Professor an der Istanbuler Boğaziçi Univ.; schloss sich 1990 der konservativen »Partei des rechten Weges« (DYP) an. 1991 93 Staatsminister für… …   Universal-Lexikon


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