Aydın Güven Gürkan

Aydın Güven Gürkan (May 10, 1941 Elazığ-January 22, 2006 Istanbul) was a Turkish academic and politician.

Aydın Güven Gürkan
Minister of Labor and Social Security
In office
March 27, 1995 – June 3, 1995
Prime MinisterTansu Çiller
Preceded byNihad Matkap
Succeeded byZiya Halis
Personal details
BornMay 10, 1941
Elazığ, Turkey
DiedJanuary 22, 2006(2006-01-22) (aged 64)
Political partyPeople's Party (HP)
Social Democratic Populist Party (SHP)
Republican People's Party (CHP)
Spouse(s)Serap Aksoy
ChildrenBurcu Gürkan (daughter)
EducationPolitical science
Alma materFaculty of Political Science, Ankara University
University of Cologne
OccupationPolitician, academician

Early lifeEdit

He was born in Elazığ on 10 May 1941. In 1963, he graduated from the Faculty of Political Sciences in Ankara University. In 1970, he completed his doctorate studies in the University of Cologne, Germany with highest honors summa cum laude. Returned to Turkey, in addition to teaching, he served as the dean of Faculty of Journalism in Gazi University. In 1981, he resigned from his post protesting the Council of Higher Education.

Political careerEdit

All Turkish parties were closed in 1981 by the military rule so called by the National Security Council (MGK). In 1983, the MGK decided to allow the formation of new parties with severe restrictions. Aydın Güven Gürkan joined People's Party (Turkish: Halkçı Parti, HP) a new party on the track of Republican People’s Party (Turkish: Cumhuriyet Halk Patisi (CHP), which is usually credited as the founder of Turkish Republic in 1923. In the first elections following the military rule, Aydın Güven Gürkan was elected as the deputy from Antalya Province.[1]

Opposition leaderEdit

On 1 July 1985, he was elected as the chairman of the party. His party was the main opposition party in the parliament. But by 1985, two other parties on the track of CHP were more popular than HP. He decided to fuse HP with the other parties with similar ideology. Although Bülent Ecevit, the leader of DSP was reluctant, Gürkan and Erdal İnönü, the chairman of SODEP agreed on a merge plan.[2] On 3 November 1985, two parties fused to form Social Democrat Populist Party (Turkish: Sosyal Demokrat Halkçı Parti, SHP) electing Gürkan the chairman of the new party. But in 1986, he was replaced by Erdal İnönü.

Later yearsEdit

Gürkan served one term as the vice chairman of SHP, and in 1991 he was elected as the deputy from Mersin Province (then known as İçel Province) and served as the Minister of Labour and Social Security during the DYP-SHP coalition government in the 1990s. After SHP-newly established CHP fusion in 1995 however, he became a passive member of the party, and finally resigned from CHP. Except for a brief membership in New Turkey Party in 2002, he did not participate in politics.[3]

Illness and deathEdit

Aydın Güven Gürkan died in the morning hours of January 22, 2006 in the intensive care unit of a hospital in Istanbul, where he was delivered shortly before. He had been on treatment for stomach cancer three years long. He had undergone a stomach surgery one and half years before, and was since then on chemotherapy. He had a heart attack one month ago. Gürkan was survived by his wife Serap Aksoy, a theatre and film actress from profession, and his daughter Burcu Gürkan.[4][5][6]


  1. ^ Sabah newspaper (in Turkish)
  2. ^ Erdal İnönü:Anılar ve Düşünceler, Doğan Kitapçılık, İstanbul, 2001, ISBN 975-6612-02-9 pp.201-205
  3. ^ Yaşamkadın biography (in Turkish)
  4. ^ "Aydın Güven Gürkan komada". Sabah (in Turkish). 2006-01-21. Retrieved 2012-09-25.
  5. ^ "Aydın Güven Gürkan vefat etti". NTV-MSNBC (in Turkish). 2006-01-23. Retrieved 2012-09-25.
  6. ^ "Aydın Güven Gürkan toprağa verildi". Hürriyet (in Turkish). 2006-01-24. Retrieved 2012-09-25.
Political offices
Preceded by
Nihad Matkap
Minister of Labor and Social Security
March 27, 1995–June 3, 1995
Succeeded by
Ziya Halis
Party political offices
Preceded by
Necdet Calp
Leader of the People's Party
July 1, 1985- November 3, 1985
Succeeded by
merged with SODEP to form Social Democrat People's Party (SHP)
Preceded by
formed as a result of fusion
Leader of the Social Democratic Populist Party (SHP)
November 3, 1985- May 30, 1986
Succeeded by
Erdal İnönü