İsmet Sezgin

İsmet Sezgin
Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey
In office
30 June 1997  11 January 1999
Prime Minister Mesut Yılmaz
Served with Bülent Ecevit
Preceded by Tansu Çiller
Succeeded by Hüsamettin Özkan
Leader of the Democrat Turkey Party
In office
17 April 1999  18 May 2002
Preceded by Hüsamettin Cindoruk
Succeeded by Mehmet Ali Bayar
Minister of National Defence
In office
30 June 1997  11 January 1999
Prime Minister Mesut Yılmaz
Preceded by Turhan Tayan
Succeeded by Hikmet Sami Türk
18th Speaker of the Grand National Assembly
In office
18 October 1995  24 December 1995
President Süleyman Demirel
Preceded by Hüsamettin Cindoruk
Succeeded by Mustafa Kalemli
Minister of the Interior
In office
21 November 1991  25 June 1993
Prime Minister Süleyman Demirel
Preceded by Sabahattin Çakmakoğlu
Succeeded by Mehmet Gazioğlu
Minister of Finance
In office
12 November 1979  11 September 1980
Prime Minister Süleyman Demirel
Preceded by Ziya Müezzinoğlu
Succeeded by Kaya Erdem
Minister of Youth and Sports
In office
3 November 1969  26 March 1971
Prime Minister Süleyman Demirel
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Sezai Ergun
Member of the Grand National Assembly
In office
20 October 1991  18 April 1999
Constituency Aydın (1991, 1995)
In office
15 October 1961  12 September 1980
Constituency Aydın (1961, 1965, 1969, 1973, 1977)
Mayor of Aydın
In office
13 November 1955  27 May 1960
Preceded by Selim Yatağan
Succeeded by Ali Nahit Danışman
Personal details
Born 1928
Aydın, Turkey
Nationality  Turkey
Political party Democrat (1952-1960)
Justice (1961-1980)
True Path Party (1987-1997)
Democrat Turkey Party (1997-2002)
Spouse(s) Saadet Sezgin (1952-2004)
Children Seynan Levent
Ayşe Sezgin
Alma mater Dokuz Eylül University
Occupation Politician
Religion Islam

İsmet Sezgin (born 1928) is a former Turkish politician who served as the Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey and Minister of National Defence from 1997 to 1999, as the Speaker of the Grand National Assembly in 1995, as the Minister of the Interior from 1991 to 1993, as the Minister of Finance from 1979 to 1980 and as the Minister of Youth and Sports from 1969 to 1971. Between 1999 and 2002, he served as the Leader of the Democrat Turkey Party, but did not contest any elections.

With a history in the Turkish political right, Sezgin had actively participated in the historical Democrat Party led by Adnan Menderes until the 1960 coup d'état. Entering Parliament as a Member of Parliament for Aydın in the 1961 general election, he served continuously as an MP until the 1980 coup d'état, after which he was re-elected in the 1991 general election. He lost his seat in the 1999 general election and retired from active politics in 2002. He was also active in sport, having served as the 15th Chairman of Gençlerbirliği S.K. between 1967 and 1968.[1]

Early life and career

İsmet Sezgin was born in 1928 in Aydın as the eldest of 9 children. He completed his primary and secondary education in Aydın and graduated from high school in İzmir. He received higher education at the High Economy and Trade School (now Dokuz Eylül University). During his student years, he was involved in athletics.

After graduating from the High Economy and Trade School in 1950, he immediately began working at the Turkey Real Estate Credit Bank (now Ziraat Bankası) Denizli branch. He married Saadet Sezgin, a mathematics teacher in 1952 and was also elected to the Democrat Party Denizli Provincial Administration Board in the same year.[2]

Political career

Mayor of Aydın

Sezgin was elected as the Mayor of Aydın in the 1955 local elections from the Democrat Party. He was removed from office as a result of the 1960 coup d'état, during which the Democrat Party government led by Adnan Menderes was ousted from power. As a member of the Democrats, Sezgin was briefly arrested after being removed from office.

Justice Party

After being freed, Sezgin established the provincial office of the new Justice Party (AP), which was seen as the successor to the Democrat Party. In the 1961 general election, he was elected as an AP Member of Parliament for Aydın. In 1963, he became the President of the Turkish Municipal Association, serving until 1985. In 1967, he became the Chairman of Gençlerbirliği S.K. and served until 1968. In 1968, he was made a Deputy Leader of the Justice Party.

Minister of Youth and Sports

After the Justice Party won a parliamentary majority in the 1969 general election, Justice Party leader and Prime Minister Süleyman Demirel established the Ministry of Youth and Sports and appointed İsmet Sezgin as Turkey's first Minister of Youth and Sports in his government. Although Demirel briefly resigned after his party MPs rebelled against the government's budget proposals, Sezgin continued as Youth and Sports Minister in the 32nd government of Turkey, which was also formed by Demirel. Sezgin was removed from office, as was the rest of the government, following the 1971 Turkish coup d'état.

Minister of Finance

Although the Republican People's Party (CHP) was the largest party in Parliament, a poor performance in by-election resulted in the CHP government resigning. Süleyman Demirel was once again tasked with the formation of a new government and eventually formed the 43rd government of Turkey with outside support from the Islamist National Salvation Party (MSP). The government was formed entirely by Justice Party MPs, with Sezgin becoming the Minister of Finance. Due to the parliamentary deadlock resulting from a failed attempt to elect a new President in 1980, the government was ousted from power by the 1980 Turkish coup d'état led by General Kenan Evren. Parliament was abolished and Sezgin was banned, along with many other politicians, from running for political office.[3]

Minister of the Interior

With his political ban lifted as a result of the 1987 constitutional referendum, Sezgin returned to Parliament as an MP from Aydın in the 1991 general election, this time from the True Path Party (DYP). The DYP had also been formed by Demirel after having his political ban lifted and was seen as a successor to the disbanded Justice Party. Having secured a plurality in the 1991 election, the DYP formed a coalition government with the Social Democratic Populist Party led by Erdal İnönü. In this government, Sezgin was appointed Minister of the Interior.[4]

Speaker of the Parliament

After President Turgut Özal's death in 1993, Demirel was subsequently elected as the 9th President of Turkey in the 1993 presidential election. In the subsequent leadership election, Sezgin put his name forward as a candidate but withdrew in the second round of the election. After Tansu Çiller was elected as the leader of the DYP, Sezgin resigned as Interior Minister.

In 1995, he was elected as the Speaker of the Grand National Assembly, succeeding Hüsamettin Cindoruk. He served in this position until the 1995 general election, in which the DYP lost 43 seats.

Minister of National Defence and Deputy Prime Minister

After the DYP formed a coalition government with the Islamist Welfare Party (RP) in 1996, Sezgin resigned from the DYP in protest and was one of the founding members of the new Democrat Turkey Party (DTP). The 'Refahyol' government (DYP-RP coalition) collapsed in 1997 after a military memorandum. Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Mesut Yılmaz was tasked with forming a new government and managed to form a minority triple-party coalition between ANAP, the DTP and the Democratic Left Party (DSP). The DTP leader Hüsamettin Cindoruk did not participate in the government, so Sezgin became Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey as the most senior DTP representative in the coalition government, serving alongside the DSP leader Bülent Ecevit. Sezgin concurrently served as the Minister of National Defence. The government collapsed following the Türkbank scandal, after which the Republican People's Party (CHP) decided to end its outside support for the government.[5]

Leader of the DTP

In the 1999 general election, the DTP won just 0.58% of the vote, falling far below the 10% election threshold necessary to win parliamentary representation. Sezgin, as well as all other DTP MPs, lost their seats in Parliament. As a result, Hüsamettin Cindoruk resigned as party leader. Sezgin was subsequently elected as the DTP leader in place of Cindoruk, but resigned in May 2002 without contesting any elections as party leader. He announced that he was retiring from active politics. The DTP contested the 2002 general election under an electoral alliance with the DYP, but the two parties combined still failed to pass the 10% boundary.[6]

Personal life

İsmet Sezgin married mathematics teacher Saadet (Sezgin) in 1952 and were married until her death in 2004. They have two daughters, namely Seynan Levent and Ayşe.

Legacy and recognition

In the Bornova district of İzmir, there is a primary school named after Sezgin.[7]

See also


External links

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