World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey's former Prime Minister and Islamist movement leader died in Ankara on Sunday. His demise comes day before anniversary of what writers call "post-modern coup".
Necmettin Erbakan devoted his life to the "Milli Görüş", National View, a deep-rooted Islamist political movement in Turkey. Here is his life's brief summary.
Erbakan is a Turkish engineer, academic, politician (eventually political party leader), who was the Prime Minister of Turkey from 1996 until 1997. He was Turkey's first Islamist Prime Minister. In 1997 he was pressured by the military to step down as prime minister and later banned from politics by the constitutional court.
Erbakan was born in Sinop, at the coast of Black Sea in northern Turkey. After the high school education in İstanbul Lisesi, he graduated from the Mechanical Engineering Faculty at the Istanbul Technical University(ITÜ) in 1948, and received a PhD degree from the RWTH Aachen University, Germany. After returning to Turkey, Erbakan became lecturer at the İTÜ and was appointed professor in 1965 at the same university. After working some time in leading position in the industry, he switched over to politics, and was elected deputy of Konya in 1969.
Necmettin Erbakan's ideology is set forth in a manifesto, entitled Millî Görüş (National View), which he published in 1969.
A mainstay of the religious wing of Turkish politics since the 1970s, Erbakan has been the leader of a series of Islamist political parties that he founded or inspired that have risen 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 with the Republican People's Party of Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit during the Cyprus crisis of 1974.
In the wake of the 1980 military coup, Erbakan and his party were banned from politics. He reemerged following a referendum to lift the ban in 1987 and became the leader of Refah Partisi (Welfare Party). He led his party to a surprise success in the general elections of 1995.
He became Prime Minister in 1996 in coalition with Doğru Yol Partisi (True Path Party), becoming the first devout Muslim to hold the office in modern Turkey. As prime minister, he attempted to further Turkey's relations with the Arab nations. 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 multi-dimensional political approach to relations with the neighboring countries.
The Turkish military gradually increased the harshness and frequency of its public warnings to Erbakan's government, eventually prompting Erbakan to step down 1997 in a move that has been dubbed a "postmodern coup".
His ruling Welfare Party (RP) was subsequently banned by the courts, who judged that the party had an agenda to promote Islamic fundamentalism in the state, and Erbakan was barred once again from active politics.
Despite often being under political ban, Erbakan nonetheless acted as a mentor and informal advisor to former RP members who founded the Virtue Party in 1997. The Virtue Party was found unconstitutional in 2001 and 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 onwards.
The Islamist movement that defends national and spiritual values and political, economic and cultural cooperation and solidarity with Islamic world with Turkey returning to its historic role, has been one of milestones in Turkish political life.
Last Mod: 27 Şubat 2011, 14:32