İsmail Kahraman

İsmail Kahraman
27th Speaker of the Grand National Assembly
Assumed office
22 November 2015
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Deputy Ahmet Aydın
Ayşe Nur Bahçekapılı
Akif Hamzaçebi
Pervin Buldan
Preceded by İsmet Yılmaz
Minister of Culture
In office
28 June 1996  30 June 1997
Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan
Preceded by Agah Oktay Güner
Succeeded by Mustafa İstemihan Talay
Member of the Grand National Assembly
Assumed office
1 November 2015
Constituency İstanbul (I) (Nov 2015)
In office
24 December 1995  3 November 2002
Constituency İstanbul (1995, 1999)
Personal details
Born 1940
Rize, Turkey
Nationality Turkish
Political party Welfare Party (1995-97)
Virtue Party (1997-02)
Justice and Development Party (2002-present)
Education Law
Alma mater Istanbul University
Religion Islam

İsmail Kahraman (born 1940) is a Turkish politician from the Justice and Development Party (AKP) who currently serves as the 27th Speaker of the Grand National Assembly since 22 November 2015. He has been the Member of Parliament for İstanbul's first electoral district since 1 November 2015, having previously served as an MP for İstanbul between 1995 and 2002. He also served as Minister of Culture from 1996 to 1997 in the government of Necmettin Erbakan as a member of the Islamist Welfare Party.

Early life and career

İsmail Kahraman was born in Rize in 1940 and graduated from İstanbul University Faculty of Law. During his youth, he was the President of the Student's Community and of the National Turkish Student's Union. He was a founding member and a Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Unity Foundation and the Voluntary Foundation of Turkey. In the private sector, he worked as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of numerous companies and became the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Labour. He was one of the founding members of the Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University development foundation and is still the Chairman of the Board of Trustees.[1]

Political career

Minister of Culture

İsmail Kahraman was first elected as a Member of Parliament for İstanbul in the 1995 general election as a member of the Welfare Party. The Welfare Party leader Necmettin Erbakan formed a coalition government with the True Path Party in June 1996, with Kahraman becoming the Minister of Culture. The government fell in June 1997 after the military memorandum on 28 February. He was re-elected as an MP in the 1999 general election as part of the RP's successor Virtue Party (FP), but lost his seat in the 2002 general election.[2]

Speaker of the Grand National Assembly

Kahraman re-entered politics and was elected as a Member of Parliament for İstanbul's first electoral district from the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the November 2015 general election.[3] He was subsequently announced as the AKP's candidate for Speaker of the Grand National Assembly in the November 2015 Parliamentary Speaker election.[4] He was elected speaker in the third round, winning 316 votes and becoming the 27th Speaker of the Grand National Assembly.

Political views

On 13 February 2015, Kahraman attended a career's day at a girls' school in Rize. In his speech, he argued that students should avoid turning to fashion and instead be faithful and devout. He argued that students should follow the example of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's mother, Tenzile Erdoğan.[5]

As Speaker of Parliament, one of Kahraman's duties is to pen the new draft constitution for Turkey, which since the founding of the republic after the collapse of Islamic Ottoman Empire has been based on the ideas of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk -- Turkish nationalism and Western-style secularism, or separation of the state and religion. On 25 April 2016, Kahraman told a conference of Islamic scholars and writers in Istanbul that "secularism would not have a place in a new constitution," as Turkey was “a Muslim country and so we should have a religious constitution”.[6] His call was met with "opposition condemnation and a brief street protest" dispersed with tear gas by riot police.[7] Kahraman later stated these were "personal views" and that the new constitution "should guarantee religious freedoms".[7]

See also


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