Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Tansu Ciller: Turkey's New Prime Minister

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Tansu Ciller: Turkey's New Prime Minister

Article excerpt

Tansu Ciller: Turkey's New Prime Minister

Members of Turkey's conservative True Path Party on June 14 elected U.S.- educated Economics Minister Tansu Ciller (pronounced CHILL-air), 47, to be Turkey's first woman prime minister, succeeding her party's Suleyman Demirel, 68, who replaced the late Turgut Ozal as Turkey's president. Ciller, educated at Istanbul's American-founded Robert College, has an M.A. from the University of New Hampshire, a doctorate from the University of Connecticut, and pursued further studies at Yale. She has pledged to speed up privatization of Turkey's money-losing state corporations, maintain the export-oriented economic boom it has fueled, and lower the 65 per cent inflation that has accompanied the boom. "I have never lost any major battle I have entered," she said, as the Istanbul stock market rose a record 10 percent in a single day's trading in the wake of her election.

As a teenage bride, Ciller persuaded her businessman husband, Ozer Ucuran (pictured with her below), to give up his surname and take hers, a rare event in male-oriented Turkey. …

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