Turkish Parliament may become one big family reunion

Turkish Parliament may become one big family reunion

Former İstanbul Mayor and CHP Sivas deputy Nurettin Sözen and AK Party Deputy Chairwoman Edibe Sözen, who is expected to run for Parliament from İstanbul, are relatives.

May 23, 2007, Wednesday/ 20:24:00/ ERCAN YAVUZ
After the general elections are held at the end of July, the 23rd session of Parliament will turn into an assembly of relatives. It seems that the number of deputies who are kinsmen is set to increase.Many ministers and deputies from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) are already related and it seems that many more family members will follow them to Parliament with the next elections.

As the network of kinship in Turkish politics is becoming more and more intricate, a telling sign is that some deputies end their political careers only to be replaced by their sons or nephews. One such politician is AK Party Hakkari deputy Mustafa Zeydan, who is succeeded by Deputy Undersecretary for the Health Ministry Rüstem Zeydan.

Necmettin Cevheri, former True Path Party (DYP) Şanlıurfa deputy and former state minister in the 21st Parliament, has been replaced by his son, Cevher Cevheri. Former State Minister Kamran İnan chose not to run for Parliament this time in order to ensure that his nephew, Edip Safter Gaydalı, will become an independent candidate in Bitlis. Gaydalı has now joined the ranks of the Democrat Party (DP).

Former Prime Minister Yıldırım Akbulut has also not opted to run for Parliament in order that his son-in-law, Tanju Yazgan Arıkan, who was already working in the Parliament, a parliamentary candidate from the DP. Former State Minister Rüştü Kazım Yücelen will not be a parliamentary candidate, but his son, Ali Yücelen, has decided to run for Parliament in his place from the DP.

In the 21st term of the Parliament two brothers, Burhan and Orhan Bıçakçıoğlu, were elected as deputies from two rival parties, the Democratic Left Party (DSP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) respectively. Hüsamettin Özkan, who served as a deputy prime minister during the late Bülent Ecevit’s government, and former Finance Minister Sümer Oral are brothers-in-law.

Some powerful families, particularly those in the eastern and southeastern regions of Anatolia, prefer to send representatives to the parties that are likely to be in the government. Former DYP Şanlıurfa deputy Sedat Bucak applied to the DP while his nephew, Hüseyin Bucak, applied to the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

Former MHP Health Minister Osman Durmuş has not changed his party, while his nephew, Fatih Durmuş, has applied to the Grand Unity Party (BBP). The Pakdil family, a powerful dynasty in Kahramanmaraş, ensured that their son, Nevzat Pakdil, ran for Parliament -- eventually becoming parliament speaker. BBP leader Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu is their son-in-law.

Tekin Bayram, former Yalvaç mayor, is the maternal uncle of Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) leader Erkan Mumcu, but has applied to the AK Party to run for Parliament from Isparta. Bayram was the person who introduced Mumcu to former ANAVATAN leader Mesut Yılmaz and thus played an important role in his engagement in politics. Bayram harshly criticized his nephew’s attitude in the recent presidential election crisis and ironically had previously objected to Mumcu’s candidacy on the AK Party’s lists.

Şanlıurfa deputy Turan Tüysüz, who resigned from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) to become a member of ANAVATAN, married the daughter of AK Party Ağrı deputy Naci Aslan, who was formerly a CHP member. Thus, the family has representatives both in the DP and the AK Party. İzzet Sarıbaş, the cousin of ANAVATAN Malatya deputy and parliamentary group Deputy Chairman Süleyman Sarıbaş, has applied to the MHP for parliamentary candidacy.

Afyon deputy Mahmut Koçak, elected deputy from the AK Party’s lists, was expelled from the party and joined ANAVATAN, is running for Parliament from the DP list. However his brother-in-law, DYP Deputy Chairman Gültekin Uysal, also applied to the DP for candidacy. The DP is planning to nominate one of these Ankara brothers-in-law.

Former İstanbul Mayor and CHP Sivas deputy Nurettin Sözen and AK Party Deputy Chairwoman Edibe Sözen, who is expected to run for Parliament from İstanbul, are relatives.

Ali Aşlık, who resigned from his office as head of the AK Party İzmir local organization to become a parliamentary candidate, is the uncle-in-law of deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül. AK Party İzmir deputy Mehmet Tekelioğlu and former AK Party İzmir Women’s Organization Chairwoman Gülsüm Satoğlu, who is now running for Parliament, are also Gül’s relatives.

Ömer İnönü, the grandson of İsmet İnönü, will be the CHP’s İstanbul parliamentary candidate. Gülsün Bilgehan Toker, the granddaughter of İsmet İnönü, is still a CHP deputy. AK Party İstanbul deputy Azmi Ateş is married to the sister of AK Party Bursa deputy Mehmet Altan Karapaşaoğlu. Erinç Yurter, the wife of Nusret Yurter, who is the brother-in-law of State Minister Ali Babacan, is the daughter of an AK Party deputy. Didem Yurter, the sister-in-law of Babacan, is married to Ömer Gür, the son of Remzi Gür, who is a businessman with close ties to the AK Party and the owner of clothing company Ramsey. AK Party Antalya deputy Mehmet Dülger’s wife Canan Dülger will run for Parliament from the DP.

İsmail Pepe, the son of Environment and Forestry Minister Osman Pepe, and Şeyma Güler, the daughter of Energy and Natural Resources Minister Hilmi Güler, were married last year. Mustafa Kemal Kısacıkoğlu, the son-in-law of President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, applied to the CHP to run for parliament as an Ordu representative. However the CHP has decided to nominate him on their Ankara lists due to the reaction of the party’s local organization in Ordu.

Deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Şener is the cousin of AK Party Muş deputy Sabahattin Yıldız. Sezai Ensari, who is the uncle-in-law of Interior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu and the former general director of Sümer Holding, has applied to the AK Party to becoming a parliamentary candidate.

Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Şahin and Karabük deputy Ali Özdemir are relatives. Felicity Party (SP) Chairman Recai Kutan and Ankara deputy Zeki Çelik are also related by marriage. Deputy Chairman Oğuzhan Asiltürk and Yasin Hatipoğlu, too, have relatives who are married to one another. Elif Erbakan, daughter of former Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan, is planning to enter politics from the SP.

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