Abdullah Gul

(Kayseri 1950 - present)

Abdullah GulAbdullah Gül was born in Kayseri in 1950. Graduated from Istanbul University with B.A. degree in economics in 1971, he received his Ph.D. degree from the same university in 1983. During his graduate studies Abdullah Gul attended programs in Exter and London.

He participated in the foundation of Sakarya University Industrial Engineering Department and taught economics courses between 1980-1983. From 1983 to 1991 he worked at Islamic Development Bank in Jeddah as economist. Later on he became Associate Professor on International Economics in 1991.

In 1991 Abdullah Gul was elected as a Member of the Parliament from the Welfare Party. He became a member of the Planning and Budgetary Commission in the Parliament. In 1993 he was appointed as the Deputy Chairman of the Welfare Party in charge of Foreign Affairs. He then was reelected in 1995 as a member of the Parliament again, and became member of the Foreign Affairs Commission. From 1996 to 1997, served as a Minister of State and Government as Spokesman.

In 1999 Abdullah Gul was elected from the Virtue Party as a Deputy for the third term. From 1992 to 2001 he served as the Member of Parliamentary Assembly of the Council Europe and then as the member of Committee on Culture and Education and Political Committee of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly. In 2001 he was awarded with Pro-merito Medal of the Council of Europe and became Honoree Associate of Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly.

In August 2001 he became the Founding Board Member of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party). He was appointed as the new Turkish Prime Minister by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer on 16th of November 2002. His 25-member cabinet was sworn in on 19th of November. The new government won a vote of confidence in the Turkish parliament (TBMM) on 28th of November 2002.

After the end of political ban of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, he stepped down from the seat of Prime Minister. During the 59th Government he served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Member of Parliament, the Deputy Chairman of the AK Party in charge of Political and Juridical Affairs and member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.

On 28th of August 2007 he was elected by the majority of the Parliament as the 11th President of the Republic. In August 2014 he completed his 7-years term and Tayyip Erdogan was elected as the next President by the public vote.

Abdullah Gul is married to Hayrunnisa Gul and has 3 children. He speaks fluent English and Arabic as foreign language.