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NECMETTIN ERBAKAN, ((29 October 1926 – 27 February 2011), Turkish political leader. A native of the Black Seaport of Sinop, Necmettin Erbakan spent his childhood in provincial cities where his father served as a judge in criminal courts. He acquired his primary school education inTrabzon, his high school education at Istanbul Lisesi, and his higher education at Istanbul Technical University. He remained at the same institution for his doctoral studies, which he completed inGermanyat the Aachen Technische Hochschule. He entered an academic career atIstanbulTechnicalUniversityand was promoted to full professorship in 1965. In addition to his teaching position, Erbakan played a key role in the establishment of the Gumus Motor Factory, which produced diesel engines, and served as the factory director between 1956 and 1963. He was also active in the administration of the Turkish Chamber of Commerce and was elected its general-director in 1969, a position that he was able to keep only briefly.

Erbakan left his academic career in 1969 when he was elected to the Grand National Assembly as an independent candidate fromKonya. A year later Erbakan founded the Milli Nizam Partisi (MNP or National Order Party). The MNP was a neo-Islamist party that called for a spiritual reawakening combined with technical development programs. It was banned from political activity by theConstitutional Courtin 1972 for its violation of legislation forbidding the use of religion for political purposes. The party leadership founded the Milli Selamet Partisi (MSP or National Salvation Party) the same year, with Erbakan as its leader. The MSP’s program, like the MNP’s, was critical of the republican course of development, which it saw as a failed effort to industrialize and a disastrous project destroying national values in the name of westernization. The MSP ideology emphasized rapid industrialization accompanied by moral and spiritual reconstruction.

The MSP under Erbakan’s leadership participated in three coalition governments between 1973 and 1978, with Erbakan acting as deputy prime minister in all three. The party was banned from political activity after the 1980 coup d’etat; its leadership was put under custody and tried in military courts, ending in acquittals. With the return to civilian politics in 1983, the defunct MSP was replaced by the Refah Partisi (RP or Welfare Party), with Erbakan as its leader. The RP ideology has developed into a criticism of capitalism as a Zionist plot and calls for regional cooperation among Muslim countries.

Necmettin Erbakan has been more of a politician than a political thinker. The legitimation of Islamist politics in a secular state and the formulation of an Islamist political program within the limits of parliamentary democracy owe much to his contributions. He has been the major influence in the formulation of the MNPMSP-RP ideology and has published books and pamphlets explaining the party’s views on development, cultural issues, the educational system, foreign policy, and social welfare. However, his and his party’s political vision is marginal in Turkish political life, which has been shaped both by the preference of the electorate for center parties and by legal limitations on extremist politics of the left and right.

[See also Refah Partisi;Turkey.]

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Publications by Necmettin Erbakan include: Milli Gorus (Istanbul, 1975); UC Konferans: Islam ve ilim, islam’da Kadn, Sanayi Davamiz (Istanbul, 1975); Tiirkiye’nin Meseleleri ve Cozumleri (Ankara, 1991); Adil Ekonomik Duzen (Ankara, 1991); and Erbakan Acikliyor: Kenan Evren’in Anilarindaki Yanilgilar (Ankara, 1991).

BINNAZ TOPRAK

Azhar Niaz Article's Source: http://islamicus.org/erbakan-necmettin/
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  • writerPosted On: November 7, 2012
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