Former Turkish PM Erbakan commemorated in symposium

The two-day symposium in Ankara titled "A new world and Erbakan" in commemorates the former Turkish Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan

Former Turkish PM Erbakan commemorated in symposium

World Bulletin/News Desk

The late former Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan is being remembered on the second year of his death through the “International Symposium on Erbakan.” In the scope of commemorative events, the “International Symposium on Erbakan” will take place today and Sunday.

The “A New World and Erbakan” symposium which will be held at the Şura Hall of the Ministry of Education in Ankara will be attended by Tunisian En Nahda Nahda movement leader Rashid Al Ghannouchi, President of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt Prof. Dr. Bedii Muhammad, Pakistani Jamaat-i-Islami President Sayyid Munevveh Hasan, Islamic Party of Malaysia Executive Director Abdulhadi Avang, General Secretary of the Kuwait International Student Association Mustafa Tahhan. Representatives from many Muslim countries such as Palestine, Mauritania, Yemen, Iraq, Sudan, Jordan, and Lebanon were also invited.

Speaking at the opening of the International Symposium on Erbakan, Felicity (Saadet) Party General Chairman Mustafa Kamalak said: "Today we are gathered here to commemorate and understand a leader who dedicated himself, with his life and his property, to a struggle. Prof. Dr. Erbakan fought against Zionism throughout his life. On this important day in which important participants from the Muslim World are gathered here, I want to say that we should finally establish a D8 Islamic Union, establish Islamic Peace, and establish a common currency unit. Only thus can we mobilize the Muslim World and ensure the ascendency over falsehood.”

Six different sessions will be held during the symposium under the headings: “Erbakan and the Awakening of the Muslim world,” “Erbakan's Service to the Muslim World,” “Understanding Erbakan,” “Erbakan in Academic Studies,” “Erbakan and the Islamic Union” and “The Current World Order and Erbakan.”

Representatives from the Muslim World will present Necmettin Erbakan under these headings.

Many Turkish statesmen, politicians and academics have also been invited to the symposium. Felicity Party General Chairman Mustafa Kamalak invited Turkish President Abdullah Gul by visiting him in person.

President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Turkish Grand National Assembly Speaker Cemil Cicek participated in the symposium via telegraph.

In addition to the symposium, the late Erbakan will be commemorated nationwide through activities such as conferences, exhibitions, and Islamic memorial services.

INTERNATIONAL PARTICIPANTS AT THE SYMPOSIUM
Chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt
Prof.Dr. Muhammed Bedii
Pakistan Jamaat-i Islami President
Abdul Hadi Awang
Chairman of the Islamic Party of Malaysia
Muhammad Hamdavi
Leader of the Moroccan Tawhid wa al-Islah Movement
Hammam Saeed
Chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan
Ibrahim Masri
Jamaat-e-Islami President of Lebanon
Ali Çavuş
President of the Muslim Brotherhood in Sudan
Abdullah Yadumi
Yemeni Islah Party Chairman
Basem Naim
Palestine (Gaza) – Representative of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and former Minister of Health
Enver Bayraktar
Iraqi Turkmen Justice Party Chairman
Muhammed Gulam
Vice President of the Mauritania Tawassoul Party
Kama Khatib
Vice President of the Jerusalem Islamic Movement
Muhittin Kebiri
President of the Islamic Development Party of Tajikistan
Prof.Dr. Abdurrahim Ali
Co-President of the Shura Council of the National Congress Party of Sudan
Salih Mahmoud Osman
President of the Eritrean Islamic Party
Iyad Samarai
President of the Islamic Party of Iraq
Allan Bilal
Palestinian Businessman
Abdulmajid Munasara
Founding President of the Algerian Muslim Parliamentary Union
Hasan Deddo
President of the Mauritania Scholar Training Institute
Prof.Dr.Ahmed Farid Moustapha
Saudi Arabia - Member of the Association of Muslim Scholars
Riyadh Shakfa
Chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria
Abu Jerra Sultani
Leader of the Algerian Social Peace Movement
Muhammad Farraj
President of Iraq Kurdistan Islamic Union Party
Ibrahim El Masry
Secretary-General of the Islamic Community of Lebanon
Wan Sebky Ahmed
Representative of Islamic Study in Malaysia
Muahmmed Gulam
Mauritania Tawassoul Party Chairman
Ali Basha Omer
President of the Muslim Brotherhood of Somalia
Prof. Dr. Ali Sheikh Ahmed
Rector of the University of Mogadishu in Somalia
Fatih Rebin
President of the Algerian EnNahda Movement
Shekib Bin Mahluf
President of the European Islamic Federation
Muhammed Yadumi

ERBAKAN'S LİFE

Erbakan is a Turkish engineer, academic, politician (eventually political party leader), who was the Prime Minister of Turkey from 1996 until 1997. He was Turkey's first Islamist Prime Minister. In 1997 he was pressured by the military to step down as prime minister and later banned from politics by the constitutional court.

Necmettin Erbakan was the founding father of the "Milli Görüş", National View, a deep-rooted Islamist political movement in Turkey.

Feb. 28 was the fourth military intervention in politics, preceded by the ones in 1960, 1971 and 1980 and it is regarded as "post-modern coup". Not only were fatal blows dealt to fundamental rights and freedoms after Feb. 28 but also democracy and the rule of law were suspended.

The coup introduced a series of harsh restrictions on religious life, with an unofficial but widely practiced ban on the use of the headscarf. The military was purged of members with any ties to religious groups, a tradition still widely observed today. In addition, a number of newspapers were closed.

Erbakan was born in Sinop, at the coast of Black Sea in northern Turkey. After the high school education in İstanbul Lisesi, he graduated from the Mechanical Engineering Faculty at the Istanbul Technical University(ITÜ) in 1948, and received a PhD degree from the RWTH Aachen University, Germany. After returning to Turkey, Erbakan became lecturer at the İTÜ and was appointed professor in 1965 at the same university. After working some time in leading position in the industry, he switched over to politics, and was elected deputy of Konya in 1969.

Necmettin Erbakan's ideology is set forth in a manifesto, entitled Millî Görüş (National View), which he published in 1969.

A mainstay of the religious wing of Turkish politics since the 1970s, Erbakan has been the leader of a series of Islamist political parties that he founded or inspired that have risen to prominence only to be banned by Turkey's secular authorities. In the 1970s, Erbakan was chairman of the National Salvation Party which, at its peak, served in coalition with the Republican People's Party of Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit during the Cyprus crisis of 1974.

In the wake of the 1980 military coup, Erbakan and his party were banned from politics. He reemerged following a referendum to lift the ban in 1987 and became the leader of Refah Partisi (Welfare Party). He led his party to a surprise success in the general elections of 1995.

He became Prime Minister in 1996 in coalition with Doğru Yol Partisi (True Path Party), becoming the first devout Muslim to hold the office in modern Turkey. As prime minister, he attempted to further Turkey's relations with the Arab nations. In addition to trying to follow an economic welfare program, which was supposedly intended to increase welfare among Turkish citizens, the government tried to implement multi-dimensional political approach to relations with the neighboring countries.

The Turkish military gradually increased the harshness and frequency of its public warnings to Erbakan's government, eventually prompting Erbakan to step down 1997 in a move that has been dubbed a "postmodern coup".

His ruling Welfare Party (RP) was subsequently banned by the courts, who judged that the party had an agenda to promote Islamic fundamentalism in the state, and Erbakan was barred once again from active politics.

Despite often being under political ban, Erbakan nonetheless acted as a mentor and informal advisor to former RP members who founded the Virtue Party in 1997. The Virtue Party was found unconstitutional in 2001 and banned; by that time Erbakan's ban on political activities had ended and he founded the Felicity Party, of which he was the leader in 2003–2004 and again from 2010 onwards.

The Islamist movement that defends national and spiritual values and political, economic and cultural cooperation and solidarity with Islamic world with Turkey returning to its historic role, has been one of milestones in Turkish political life.

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