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Ali Babacan
Ali Babacan - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023 (cropped).jpg
Leader of the Democracy and Progress Party
Assumed office
10 March 2020
Preceded by Position established
Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey
In office
1 May 2009 – 28 August 2015
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Ahmet Davutoğlu
Serving with Bülent Arınç
Beşir Atalay
Bekir Bozdağ
Emrullah İşler
Yalçın Akdoğan
Numan Kurtulmuş
Preceded by Nazım Ekren
Succeeded by Cevdet Yılmaz
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
29 August 2007 – 1 May 2009
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Preceded by Abdullah Gül
Succeeded by Ahmet Davutoğlu
Chief Negotiator for Turkish Accession to the European Union
In office
17 January 2005 – 11 January 2009
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Egemen Bağış
Minister of State Responsible for Economy
In office
18 November 2002 – 29 August 2007
Prime Minister Abdullah Gül
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Preceded by Masum Türker
Succeeded by Mehmet Şimşek
Member of the Grand National Assembly
In office
1 November 2015 – 9 July 2018
Constituency Ankara (I) (Nov 2015)
In office
19 November 2002 – 7 June 2015
Constituency Ankara (I) (2002, 2007, 2011)
Personal details
Born (1967-04-04) 4 April 1967 (age 57)
Ankara, Turkey
Political party Justice and Development Party (2001–2019)
Democracy and Progress Party (2020–present)
Ülkü Zeynep Yurter
(m. 1995)
Children 3
Alma mater Middle East Technical University
Northwestern University
  • Politician
  • economist
  • engineer

Ali Babacan (Turkish pronunciation: [aˈli babaˈdʒan]; born 4 April 1967) is a Turkish politician, economist, and engineer. He is the founder and current leader of the Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA). He served 13 years as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Economy, Chief Negotiator for the EU and Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey from 2002 to 2015. He was a member of the parliament as well.

He first served as the Minister of State in charge of economic affairs in the 58th cabinet from the Justice and Development Party (AKP). He retained this position throughout the 58th and 59th Governments of the Republic of Turkey. On 29 August 2007 he was appointed as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the 60th Government of the Republic of Turkey. During 2009–2015, he served as the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic and Financial Affairs of Turkey.

Ali Babacan had the duty of steering a harsh economic reform program, which was backed by multibillion-dollar IMF loans; under his leadership, the Turkish economy achieved a remarkable recovery after two severe crises. He mostly stayed away from the Turkish political arena and focused on economic reforms, acting more like a technocrat.

In 2019, Babacan left the AKP, citing "deep differences" over the party's direction as a reason, and founded the Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) in 2020. DEVA eventually joined the Nation Alliance, opposing AKP and Turkish president Erdoğan.

Early life and career


Ali Babacan graduated from TED Ankara College ranking first among the class of 1985. He attended the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara and in 1989 was awarded a BSc in Industrial Engineering with the highest marks (4.00 point out of 4.00).

Babacan went to the U.S. on a Fulbright Scholarship to do postgraduate studies and in 1992 received an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, with majors in marketing, organizational behavior and international business.

Career in finance

Babacan worked then for two years as an associate at QRM, Inc. in Chicago, Illinois, a company doing financial consulting to the top executives of major banks in the United States. He returned to Turkey in 1994 and, served as chief advisor to the mayor of Ankara the same year. He was the chairman of his family owned textile company between 1994 and 2002.

Political life

Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Economy (2002–2015)

He entered politics in 2001 as a co-founder and a board member of the Justice and Development Party and was elected to parliament as deputy for Ankara on 3 November 2002. He was appointed Minister of Economy on 18 November 2002 and became the youngest member of the cabinet, then at the age of 35.

On 24 May 2005 Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced his appointment as chief negotiator in Turkey's accession talks with the European Union, which started on 3 October 2005. As government minister Babacan attended several international meetings including the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and the Bilderberg Group.

In 2019, Babacan left the ruling AKP, citing "deep differences" over the party's direction as a reason.

Leader of the DEVA (2020–present)

Babacan confirmed his intent to form this party in a late 2019 interview with journalist Şirin Payzın of T24, and expects his party to be a "mainstream party" with particular focuses on minority rights, a return to Turkey's parliamentary system, fair processes in courts and legislation, and restoring freedom of speech and expression. Babacan is quoted as saying that "the nation will give our party its name".

On 9 March 2020, he founded Democracy and Progress Party, abbreviated as "DEVA" or "remedy" in Turkish. The DEVA Party held its first meeting of the Board of Founders on 10 March 2020, where he was unanimously elected Chairman.

Personal life

Babacan is married and has three children. He also speaks English.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Ali Babacan para niños

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