Ecevit, Bülent

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Ecevit, Bülent

Ecevit, Bülent (bülĕntˈ ĕjĕvĭtˈ), 1925–2006, Turkish political leader and journalist. An editor for Ulus, the organ of the Republican People's party, he was elected to parliament (1957–60 and again from 1961) and served (1961–65) as minister of labor. He was the Republican People's party's secretary-general from 1966 to 1971. In 1972, Ecevit succeeded Ismet Inönü as party chairman, promising a democratic-socialist program. In 1974 he became prime minister of a coalition government and established an independent, basically anti-European policy for Turkey. Following the overthrow in July, 1974, of the Cypriot leader Archbishop Makarios III by the Greek officers of the Cypriot National Guard, Ecevit mobilized Turkish troops and invaded Cyprus to protect its Turkish minority. His action brought about the fall of the Greek Cypriot rebel government, and, indirectly, the fall of the junta in Greece. Strains in his coalition led to Ecevit's resignation in Sept., 1974. In 1978 he became prime minister again, but in 1980 Turkey experienced a military coup, and Ecevit was imprisoned. He later established the Democratic Left party, and in Dec., 1998, he was asked to form a caretaker government. Following elections held in Apr., 1999, he continued as prime minister, heading a coalition government. In office he reversed his earlier anti-Western stance and worked to draw Turkey nearer to the countries of the European Union. The elections of 2002 resulting in stunning loss for Ecevit and his party, and he retired from politics two years later.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Eçevit, Bülent


Born May 28, 1925, in Istanbul. Turkish state and political figure; a literary critic and theorist by education.

Eçevit graduated from Robert College in Istanbul in 1944. Between 1946 and 1950 he was on the staff of the Turkish press attache in London. From 1950 to 1961 he was employed in various capacities by the newspaper Ulus, an organ of the Republican People’s Party (RPP).

Eçevit became an RPP member of the Grand National Assembly in 1957. Between 1961 and 1965 he sẹrved as minister of labor in the coalition governments led by I. Inönü. He was secretary general of the RPP from 1966 to 1971 and general chairman of the party from May 1972 to October 1980. Eçevit served as prime minister from January to November 1974 and again from January 1978 to November 1979.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.