Yıldırım Akbulut

20th Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey from 1989 to 1991
Yıldırım Akbulut
Yildirim Akbulut (1988).jpg
Prime Minister of Turkey
In office
9 November 1989 – 23 June 1991
PresidentTurgut Özal
DeputyAli Bozer (1989-90)
Preceded byTurgut Özal
Succeeded byMesut Yılmaz
Speaker of the Grand National Assembly
In office
20 May 1999 – 30 September 2000
PresidentSüleyman Demirel,
Ahmet Necdet Sezer
Preceded byHikmet Çetin
Succeeded byÖmer İzgi
In office
24 December 1987 – 9 November 1989
PresidentKenan Evren
Preceded byNecmettin Karaduman
Succeeded byİsmet Kaya Erdem
Leader of the Motherland Party
In office
16 November 1989 – 15 June 1991
Preceded byTurgut Özal
Succeeded byMesut Yılmaz
Interior Minister of Turkey
In office
26 October 1984 – 26 September 1987
Prime MinisterTurgut Özal
Preceded byAli Tanrıyar
Succeeded byAhmet Selçuk
Personal details
Born(1935-09-02)September 2, 1935
Erzincan, Turkey
DiedApril 14, 2021(2021-04-14) (aged 85)
Ankara, Turkey
Resting placeState Cemetery
Political partyANAP
SpouseSaime Akbulut
Alma materIstanbul University

Yıldırım Akbulut (Turkish pronunciation: [jɯɫdɯˈɾɯm akbuˈɫut]; 2 September 1935[1][2][3] – 14 April 2021[4]) was a Turkish politician, who was a leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP), the Prime Minister of Turkey, and twice the Speaker of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey.[5][6]

A lawyer by profession, Akbulut was one of the founding members of the Motherland Party in 1983. Entering Parliament in the 1983 general election, he became the Minister of the Interior under Prime Minister and ANAP leader Turgut Özal in 1984. Serving until 1987, Akbulut was then fielded as his party's candidate for Parliamentary speaker, which he won and subsequently served until 1989.

In 1989, Özal contested the presidential election and was elected the 8th President of Turkey. Özal chose Akbulut as his successor as Prime Minister, leading him to be elected ANAP leader and taking office as the 20th Prime Minister of Turkey. He was widely regarded as a 'puppet' of President Özal, who was accused despite his ceremonial and impartial position of calling the shots for the government. He was defeated in the 1991 ANAP leadership primaries by Mesut Yılmaz and subsequently left office. In 1999, he was elected for a second time as Speaker of Parliament.

To this date in Turkish politics, 'Yıldırım Akbulut' has become synonymous with 'political puppet', denoting a politician stationed in high office but actually only serving on behalf of another, more powerful superior. When serving Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was elected President in 2014, the media ran speculation about who would be Erdoğan's 'Yıldırım Akbulut' (replacement prime minister on Erdoğan's behalf).


Akbulut was born in Erzincan, Turkey as the son of a postman. After finishing high school, he was educated in Law at Istanbul University. Following his graduation, he worked as a freelance lawyer.

Upon entering the political arena, Akbulut was elected to the parliament from the Erzincan province. He served as Minister of Interior in the cabinet of Turgut Özal. He was then elected Speaker of the Parliament serving between December 24, 1987 and November 9, 1989.

After the election of Turgut Özal as the President of Turkey, Akbulut became Prime Minister from November 9, 1989 forming the 47th government of Turkey. On June 15, 1991 he lost Anavatan Party primaries to Mesut Yilmaz, ending his tenure in office. In 1992, with the order of Ozal, Akbulut resigned from the party, however, he returned shortly afterwards.

On May 20, 1999, Yıldırım Akbulut was elected for the second time Speaker of the Grand National Assembly that lasted until September 30, 2000.

He was married and had three children. Akbulut died at the age of 85 in Ankara on 14 April 2021. He was interred at the Turkish State Cemetery.[7]


  1. ^ Sanal, Türker (1995). Türkiye Cumhuriyeti ve 50 Hükümeti (in Turkish). Sim Yayın. p. 51. ISBN 978-9759544010. Retrieved April 15, 2021.
  2. ^ Arol, Ender (1990). Hayret ki Başbakan (in Turkish). Boyut Yayınevi. p. 88. ISBN 978-9755080222. Retrieved April 15, 2021.
  3. ^ "Yıldırım Akbulut". Yeni Rehber Ansiklopedisi (in Turkish). Vol. 20. Türkiye Gazetesi. p. 239.
  4. ^ "Former Turkish prime minister Yildirim Akbulut dies aged 85". ABC News. Retrieved Apr 15, 2021.
  5. ^ "Türkiye Büyük Millet Meclisi" [Grand National Assembly of Turkey] (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 7 July 2018. Retrieved 17 April 2021.
  6. ^ Toy, Hakan; Elmacı, Defne (2007). Kronolojik Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Tarihi (in Turkish). Karma Kitaplar. p. 425. ISBN 978-9944321518. Retrieved April 17, 2021.
  7. ^ "Eski Başbakan Yıldırım Akbulut'a veda! Cumhurbaşkanı Erdoğan'dan cenaze töreninde açıklama". Hürriyet (in Turkish). 15 April 2021. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
Political offices
Preceded by Interior Minister of Turkey
Oct 26, 1984–Sep 16, 1987
Succeeded by
Ahmet Selçuk
Preceded by Speaker of the Parliament of Turkey
Dec 24, 1987–Nov 9, 1989
Succeeded by
Preceded by Prime Minister of Turkey
Nov 9, 1989–Jun 23, 1991
Succeeded by
Preceded by Speaker of the Parliament of Turkey
May 20, 1999–Sep 30, 2000
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by Leader of the Motherland Party
Nov 16, 1989–Jun 15, 1991
Succeeded by
House of Representatives
Temsilciler Meclisi
(1961)Grand National Assembly
in period of Bicameralism
Büyük Millet Meclisi
Çift Meclisli Dönemde

Senate of the Republic
Cumhuriyet Senatosu
National Assembly
Millet Meclisi
Consultative Assembly
Danışma Meclisi
(1981–1983)Grand National Assembly
Büyük Millet Meclisi
(since 1983)
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Republic of Turkey
Italics denote acting prime ministers.
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Leaders of the Motherland Party
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Before 1960
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