Necmettin Erbakan was born in Sinop on the 29th of October 1926, as the eldest of the 4 children of Mr. Mehmet Sabri, Sinop’s Deputy Kadi, and Mrs. Kamer. According to his own statements, his ancestors were Circassian origin on the mother’s side and from the Kozanoğlu Principality on the father’s side. Necmettin Erbakan, who started primary school in Kayseri, continued his education in Trabzon due to his father’s appointment. Erbakan started his secondary education at Istanbul Boys’ High School in 1937 and graduated ranking first in 1943. Although he gained the right to enter the university without an examination due to his outstanding achievement at high school, he did not use this right and passed the exam with high success.
"Reason is to think about the final”
Süleyman Demirel and Turgut Özal, important figures of the Turkish politics, were among the term friends of Necmettin Erbakan at the university, who started Istanbul Technical University with the students graduated in the previous year. Necmettin Erbakan graduated from Istanbul Technical University Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in 1948 and started to give lectures at the same faculty’s Chair of Engines in the same year. (This task, normally performed only by professors and associate professors, was indeed an award for the outstanding success of Erbakan.)
"We are working for the next generations, not for the next elections.
During his PhD study at Aachen Technical University in Germany, where he had been sent by the university in 1951, Erbakan prepared a report in the light of researches about the reduction of fuel consumption in engines. He became an associate professor at Istanbul Technical University at the age of 27 by presenting his thesis of associate professorship along with the mentioned report. The thesis which provided the mathematically explanation of the ignition of fuel injected in diesel engines made a great impact in German scientific circles. Upon publication of the thesis, he was invited to Germany to conduct research on the engines of the famous Leopard tanks of the Germans by the general manager of Deutz Engine Factories, Germany’s largest engine factory at that time. He had the opportunity to visit and examine the heavy industry factories in Germany when he was asked to take part in the board commissioned by the German Ministry of Economy to conduct researches.
"A single flower does not make a spring, but every spring starts with a single flower.
After completing his military duty between May of 1954 and October of 1955, Erbakan returned to the university. Between 1956 and 1963, he was the person to start engine production by establishing Gümüş Motor, which would produce the first domestic engine with 200 partners. He received the title of professor in 1965. He was elected as the General Secretary of Turkey Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) in 1967. In the same year, he married Nermin Saatçioğlu and had three children during this marriage (Zeynep-1968, Elif-1974 and Fatih-1978). Necmettin Erbakan, who also attracted attention with the support he gave to the merchants and small industrialists in Anatolia against big industrialists and traders during his duty as the TOBB General Secretary, was elected as the TOBB President on 25th of May 1969. However, he had to leave his post on 8th of August 1969 as the Justice Party canceled the elections.
"It always brings happiness to value the God above everything.
NATIONAL ORDER PARTY
In 1969, he took part as an independent candidate in the general elections in Konya province, since his candidacy for the Justice Party was vetoed by Süleyman Demirel. As a result of the elections, he became an independent member of the parliament by taking votes enough to elect 2 independent parliament members. He founded the National Order Party (MNP) on 17th of January 1970 with his 17 friends. This party was closed on 20th of May 1971 as a result of the lawsuit filed after the military intervention of March 12 with the allegation of “carrying out anti-secular activities”.
The MSP-CHP Coalition
Necmettin Erbakan, who founded the National Salvation Party (MSP) on 11th of October 1972 with the MNP cadres, entered the Parliament by winning 48 chairs in the elections held on 14th of October 1973 with 12 percent of the national votes. Immediately after the elections, he established the CHP-MSP coalition with CHP President Bülent Ecevit. Necmettin Erbakan, who did not remain silent about the persecution of the Turkish community in Cyprus during the coalition government, played an active role in the Cyprus Peace Operation. Bülent Ecevit opposed Necmettin Erbakan when Erbakan insisted that Cyprus should be wholly taken during the operation, as a result of which the operation was abandoned and remained within the current borders. This dispute in the coalition later became the biggest factor that ended the partnership.
September 12 Coup D’état and Political Bans
The MSP of Necmettin Erbakan, who was the state minister and deputy prime minister in the First Nationalist Front Government (Justice Party, National Salvation Party, Nationalist Movement Party and Republican Trust Party) established in March 1975, won 24 chairs in the Parliament in the 1977 General Elections. Necmettin Erbakan again assumed the position of state minister and deputy prime minister in the Second Nationalist Front, which was established in July 1977 with the coalition between the Justice Party, National Salvation Party and Nationalist Movement Party. The National Salvation Party, which gave external support to the government established by the Justice Party in November 1979, made a tremendous impact with the Jerusalem Meeting held in Konya on 6th of September 1980. After the September 12, 1980 military coup, the National Salvation Party was closed, while the Jerusalem Meeting was shown as the reason for the decision and it was even claimed to be one of the causes of the coup. Necmettin Erbakan, who was detained in Izmir Uzunada island for a while during the military coup, was tried together with 21 MSP executives. The sentence imposed on him was reversed by the Military Supreme Court in 1983 and he was acquitted. Meanwhile, he was banned from politics for 10 years. Necmettin Erbakan, who returned to politics by public vote on 6th of September 1987, was elected as the leader of the Welfare Party on 11th of October 1987. Erbakan again became a Konya MP in the 1991 elections, where the Welfare Party formed an alliance with the Nationalist Work Party and the Reformist Democracy Party.
In the 1995 general elections, the National Vision Movement won a great victory and the Welfare Party became the first party with 21.37 percent of the votes and 158 parliament members. The coalition government established between the True Path Party and the Motherland Party was short-lived. Subsequently, a coalition was established between the Welfare Party and the True Path Party. Necmettin Erbakan, who was the Prime Minister in the established Refahyol government, held power for about 1 year with the Refahyol government, which started on 28th of June 1996. In this short time, the Turkish economy grew by 7.5 percent and gross national product increased from 1.196 percent of the global to 1.237 percent. The establishment of a pool system among public institutions, record salary increases for the civil servants, retired and workers, and the formation of the D-8, which brought together 8 of the majority Muslim countries, were among the reforms made during the Refahyol period. Necmettin Erbakan, who was forced to resign after the discussions on secularism and Kemalism and the resulting 28 February post-modern coup, was the one who almost alone opposed this attempt. Necmettin Erbakan, who presented his resignation on 30th of June 1997 for his coalition partner, the True Path Party, to take the seat of prime minister as per the protocol made, again faced the veto of Süleyman Demirel. President Süleyman Demirel gave the task of establishing the government to the President of the Motherland Party, Mesut Yılmaz, instead of DYP President Tansu Çiller, against the common practices of the Turkish politics. In this way, the 55th government was established through the coalition between the Motherland Party, Democratic Left Party and the Democratic Turkey Party.
The Fourth Party: Virtue
The case filed to close the Welfare Party during the days of the February 28 coup was concluded by the Constitutional Court on 16th of January 1998. It was decided to close the Welfare Party and impose a ban on politics for 5 years for 6 persons including Necmettin Erbakan. Recai Kutan became the new president of the Virtue Party, which was previously established as the fourth party of the National Vision Movement under the presidency of İsmail Alptekin due to the closure case. Understanding that the National Vision Movement cannot be ended with party closures, evil forces tried to carve inside the Virtue Party this time. At the first congress of the party, a wing against the party management emerged. While they could not reach the result they desired at the congress, the decision of the Constitutional Court to close the Party in June 2001 brought the split.
Necmettin Erbakan’s 5-year policy ban ended in February 2003, and the days of Presidency of the Felicity Party started in May 2003. Erbakan was forced to leave his post as the President of the Felicity Party on 30th of January 2004 as a result of a lawsuit filed. On 17th of October 2010, he was re-elected as the president of the Felicity Party and continued this duty until his death.
"In our case, nobody lives for himself but everyone lives for their brothers. This is the easiest way to destroy interest.
HE STRUGGLED TO THE BITTER END
Despite his advanced age, Necmettin Erbakan traveled throughout the country and continued to explain his case. Erbakan, who did not stop working on party and country issues until his death in spite of deteriorated health conditions, was taken to medical treatment on 19th of January 2011 due to recurrent vascular inflammation. Although he was discharged, Erbakan was soon after taken to intensive care due to respiratory and heart failure. Despite all the treatments, he got the mercy of the God on 27th of February 2011 due to heart and multiple organ failure caused by respiratory failure.
HE WAS BID FAREWELL BY MILLIONS OF PEOPLE
Due to his will, a state ceremony was not held for him and a funeral prayer was held in Ankara Hacı Bayram Mosque and then in Fatih Mosque in Istanbul on Tuesday, 1st of March 2011. The funeral prayer was attended by the president, chairperson of the parliament, prime minister, ministers, political party leaders, parliament members, members of the Turkish Armed Forces, ambassadors, mayors and people from every segments of the society, as well as community leaders and representatives from 60 countries. Tmillion people attended the corset where Necmettin Erbakan was taken to the family tomb. Earth was brought to Necmettin Erbakan’s grave from various regions of Turkey, Jerusalem, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the grave of Bosnian leader Alija Izetbegovic by his followers.