Vecdi Gönül

Mehmet Vecdi Gönül
Minister of National Defence
In office
3 July 2015  17 November 2015
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu
Preceded by İsmet Yılmaz
Succeeded by İsmet Yılmaz
In office
18 November 2002  6 July 2011
Prime Minister Abdullah Gül
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Preceded by Sabahattin Çakmakoğlu
Succeeded by İsmet Yılmaz
Member of the Grand National Assembly
In office
18 April 1999  7 June 2015
Constituency Kocaeli (1999, 2002)
İzmir (II) (2007)
Antalya (2011)
Governor of İzmir
In office
10 February 1984  11 January 1988
President Kenan Evren
Preceded by Hüseyin Öğütçen
Succeeded by Nevzat Ayaz
Governor of Ankara
In office
15 December 1979  27 October 1980
President Fahri Korutürk
Kenan Evren
Preceded by Tekin Alp
Succeeded by Mustafa Gönül
Personal details
Born (1939-11-29) 29 November 1939
Erzincan, Turkey
Nationality Turkish
Political party AK Party (de facto)
Independent (de jure)
Spouse(s) Sevgi Gönül
Alma mater Ankara University, University of Southern California
Cabinet 58th, 59th, 60th, 62nd, 63rd
Religion Islam

Mehmet Vecdi Gönül (pronounced [vedʒdi ˈɟønyl]; born 29 November 1939) is a Turkish politician who served as the Minister of National Defence of Turkey from 3 July to 17 November 2015. He previously served in the same position from 2002 to 2011 and was a Member of Parliament from 1999 to 2015.[1]

Gönül first entered Parliament in the 1999 general election as an MP for Kocaeli from the Islamist Virtue Party (FP). He joined the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in 2011 when the FP was shut down and was re-elected as an AKP MP from Kocaeli in the 2002 general election. He became Minister of National Defence in the government of Abdullah Gül and continued in his position when Recep Tayyip Erdoğan took over as Prime Minister in March 2003. He was re-elected as an MP, this time from İzmir's second electoral district, in the 2007 general election and again from Antalya in 2011. In Erdoğan's third cabinet, he was succeeded as National Defence Minister by İsmet Yılmaz.

Due to the AKP's three term limit, Gönül stepped down from Parliament at the June 2015 general election. After serving National Defence Minister İsmet Yılmaz was elected as Speaker of the Grand National Assembly on 1 July 2015, Gönül was re-appointed as National Defence Minister by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu despite not being an MP and served until 17 November 2015.[2]


Gönül was born in Erzincan. His father, Saffet, was a teacher in military high schools. His mother's name was Lütfiye. He graduated in political science from Ankara University in 1960 and returned to Erzincan as a civil servant. He completed a master's degree in Public Administration at the University of Southern California and then returned to a career in public administration in Turkey, eventually becoming Chief of the Directorate of General Security (October 1977 - February 1978) and then governor of Kocaeli, Ankara (during the 1980 Turkish coup d'état) and Istanbul provinces. In the mid-1980s he was governor of Izmir where he is remembered for a large project of road-building and the construction of Adnan Menderes Airport. Gönül eventually became president of the Public Spending Authority (Sayıştay), the country's highest authority on public finance.[1]

Gönül was elected to the Turkish parliament for Kocaeli on 18 April 1999, and was part of the vanguard of the incumbent AKP. When Tayyip Erdoğan was barred from entering parliament, he became a candidate for party leadership, and later a candidate for the presidency.

He became Minister of National Defence on 19 November 2002,[1] serving in that post until 6 July 2011.

Vecdi Gönül is married and has three children. He speaks English[3][4] and Arabic.


  1. 1 2 3 Biography, Turkish Ministry of Defence.
  3. (Turkish)
  4. Turkish Grand National Assembly bio (Turkish)
Political offices
Preceded by
İsmet Yılmaz
Minister of National Defence of Turkey
July 3, 2015
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Sabahattin Çakmakoğlu
Minister of National Defence of Turkey
November 18, 2002 - July 6, 2011
Succeeded by
İsmet Yılmaz
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