Demirel, Suleiman (Turkey)
Demirel served seven terms as Turkey’s prime minister, before becoming the country’s ninth president in 1993. He retired from office in May 2000, and was replaced by Ahmet Necdet Sezer.
Demirel was born on 6 Oct. 1924 in Islâmköy. He took a degree in engineering at İstanbul Technical University. In 1949 he started working for the Department of Electrical Works, and later went to the USA to work on a number of irrigation and electrification projects. He began his lengthy political career in 1961 when he was elected to parliament as a member of the Justice Party. He rose to be party leader 3 years later.
In Oct. 1965 Demirel was elected prime minister for the first time. In power he set out to strengthen Turkey’s links with the West, and in particular the members of NATO. He also endeavoured to improve the lot of the Turkish peasantry by initiating a rural development programme.
Demirel went on to lead four successive coalition governments until 1971,...