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Ecevit, Bülent (Turkey)

Reference work entry

Introduction

Bülent Ecevit served as Turkey’s prime minister in 1974, 1977, 1978–79 and 1999–2002. He came to power for a fourth time following the collapse of Mesut Yilmaz’s centre-right government. In order to secure his election he formed an uneasy alliance between his own Democratic Left Party (DLP) the centre-right Motherland Party and the far-right Nationalist Action Party. Towards the end of his tenure Turkey’s increasing economic difficulties coupled with Ecevit’s failing health led the opposition to demand early elections which brought the end to his premiership.

Early Life

The son of a professor of medicine and an artist, Ecevit was born on 28 May 1925 in İstanbul. He received a BA from Robert College, İstanbul and then read literature at the University of Ankara before studying languages and the history of art at London University. He then became a journalist, working for the Turkish press attaché in London. He began his political career in 1957 as a Republican People’s...

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