Emine Erdoğan

Emine Erdoğan (née Gülbaran; Turkish pronunciation: [emine ˈæɾdoan] née [ɟylbaɾan]; born 16 February 1955) is the current first lady of Turkey, and the wife of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Emine Erdoğan
Emine Erdoğan.jpg
Erdoğan in 2015
First Lady of Turkey
Assumed role
28 August 2014
PresidentRecep Tayyip Erdoğan
Preceded byHayrünnisa Gül
Personal details
Emine Gülbaran

(1955-02-16) 16 February 1955 (age 68)
Üsküdar, Istanbul, Turkey
Political partyJustice and Development Party
(m. 1978)
Relatives (son-in-law)
ResidencePresidential Complex (official)

Family and educationEdit

Early lifeEdit

Emine Erdoğan,[1] was born as Cemal and Hayriye Gülbaran’s fifth child and only daughter in Üsküdar, Istanbul. Her family is originally from the southeastern province of Siirt[2] and of Arab descent.[3]

She was educated at Istanbul Mithatpaşa Vocational Evening School for Girls. She did not graduate, however. She has been actively involved in social activities since her youth. Erdoğan was among the founding members of the “Idealist Women’s Association”, which she named herself. She closely followed the events organized by the National Turkish Student Union and the Ladies Foundation for Science and Culture. During this period, she met Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and married him.


Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Emine Gülbaran married on 4 July 1978. The couple has four children: Ahmet Burak, Necmettin Bilal, Esra,[4] and Sümeyye.[5]

Political careerEdit

Emine Erdoğan meets with Michelle Obama in the Yellow Oval Room, White House, December 2009
Erdoğan together with Mexican First Lady Angélica Rivera in Mexico, February 2015

Erdoğan served as a founding member of the Provincial Women's Branch Administrative Board of the Welfare Party when Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was elected the Istanbul Provincial Head and she pioneered an era that paved the way for women's active participation in politics in Turkey. She launched a women's movement, which contributed to the success of the Refah Party in the 1994 elections.

After her husband Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was elected Mayor of Istanbul, she took part in various social responsibility projects. She contributed to the establishment of an aid corridor between different social groups by initiating the "iftar tables where the poor and the rich meet" tradition, which is still carried on by the mayoralties of Justice and Development Party.[6]

Erdoğan led the foundation of the "Center for Social Development" (TOGEM) in 2005 and has supported projects concerning the education of women and children.

With the wives of the governors from all Turkish provinces, she has led a campaign to improve the living conditions of the women, the elderly, the veterans and families of the martyrs. The project, which was awarded the "Golden Compass", the academy award of public relations, in the best public project category, has attracted interest among the projects cited by the United Nations. The project has continued under the auspices Erdoğan since 2012.

After the attacks against Gaza in 2009, she hosted the wives of the Western and Arab leaders and called the whole world to "stop the war." In 2012, Erdoğan personally went to Myanmar to observe the situation there despite the critical security threats and provided humanitarian aid to the region.

Emine Erdoğan has played an active role in opposing child marriage, stating clearly that "Forced child marriage is clearly unacceptable under any conditions".[7]

Projects under Emine Erdoğan's aegisEdit

Voluntary EnvoysEdit

Erdoğan together with Indonesian First Lady Iriana, Mexican First Lady Angélica Rivera and Argentine First Lady Juliana Awada, July 2017

"The Voluntary Envoys in Social Development Project" (Turkish: Gönül Elçileri), implemented by the Ministry of Family and Social Policies and supported by Emine Erdoğan, is a social responsibility project focused on raising awareness about and promoting "volunteering", and tending to the human resource needs that will contribute to social development. The venture, running since 2012, has subfields such as “Protective Family Service” and “Vocational Training for Women”.[8][9]

Come On Girls, Let's Go To SchoolEdit

With the Ministry of National Education, Erdoğan launched a country-wide campaign to resolve the issue of the girls who were not allowed to go to school by their families. "Come on Girls, Let's Go to School" (Turkish: Haydi Kızlar Okula) is a project carried out in coordination with the Ministry of National Education and UNICEF with support and commitments of relevant public institutions, NGOs and local administrations. The goal of the project is to provide 100% schooling and gender equality in education for primary-school-age girls (6-14 years) who are out of the education system, who have left or are absent from school.[8][10]

Mothers and Daughters at SchoolEdit

Erdoğan continued her efforts in education with "Mothers and Daughters at School" campaign (Turkish: Ana-Kız Okuldayız), which she named herself. The campaign, launched by the Ministry of National Education, was initiated in 2008. The target audience of the project are young girls and women who are in poverty from a socio-economic perspective, who have not had access to educational opportunities, and are over the compulsory education age.[8]

7 Is Too LateEdit

The "7 is too late" campaign (Turkish: 7 Çok Geç) is carried out by the Mother Child Education Foundation (AÇEV) with the objective of raising awareness and bolster on the significance of early childhood education, which children ought to get between the ages of 0-6, and making sure that every child in Turkey can benefit from pre-school education.[8]

Prolific ForestsEdit

On March 21, 2015, on the International Day of Forests, the project "Prolific Forests" (Turkish: Bereket Ormanları) was initiated by the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs which aims to expand green areas in Turkey and to make effective use of forests.[8][11]

I Protect My FutureEdit

"I Protect My Future" project (Turkish: Geleceğimi Koruyorum), started with the cooperation of the Ministry of National Education and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, aims to raise awareness about the conservation of earth and water resources among the new generations. The project which has been launched in 30 cities aims to make children familiar with the earth, seed and plants.[12][8]

African Handicrafts Market and Culture HouseEdit

"African Handicrafts Market and Culture House" project (Turkish: Afrika El Sanatları Pazarı ve Kültür Evi) strives to contribute to the solution of African women's problems concerning education and healthcare through profit-free marketing of products handmade by African women. Moreover, the project has the goal of functioning as a meeting point of African cultures and contributing to the deepening of Turkey-Africa relations.[8]

Zero WasteEdit

The "Zero Waste" Project (Turkish: Sıfır Atık), directed by the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning, has the objective to prevent squandering, to reduce the waste amount and to encourage waste recycling. It also aims for the installation of an effective collection system.[8][13]

Hermès controversyEdit

In June 2020, a court ordered to block access to the Ekşi Sözluk webpages that focus on Emine Erdoğan wearing an Hermès handbag.[14] In the same month, Evrensel journalist Ender İmrek had to appear in court to face an accusation for not reporting positively on her while criticizing her for wearing a Hermès bag worth $50,000.[15]

Honours and accoladesEdit

The Erdoğans with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and his wife in Greece, May 2010

On 7 December 2010, Prime Minister of Pakistan Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani conferred the Pakistani Nishan-e-Pakistan on Emine Erdoğan, in recognition of her efforts for the flood-stricken people of Pakistan. In October 2010, Erdoğan visited Pakistan and the flood hit areas to witness the devastation caused by the floods and contributed significantly in the fund-raising campaign to help the country's flood victims.[16]

On 16 February 2011, Emine Erdoğan was presented with the "Prix de la Fondation" by the Crans Montana Forum at a ceremony in Brussels.[17]


  1. ^ "Bahçeli'den Erdoğan'a: 'Ben Gürcü'yüm, eşim Arap' diyorsun, peki Bilal oğlana ne diyeceksin?". Diken. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
  2. ^ "Mrs Erdogan's many friends". The Economist. The Economist Newspaper Limited. 12 August 2004. Archived from the original on 5 December 2013. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  3. ^ Özcan, Ayla (2007). Emine Erdoğan: iktidara taşıyan kadın. Birharf. p. 19. Aslen Siirtli ve Arap kökenli olan Gülbaran çifti
  4. ^ "Emine Erdoğan". Biyografi (in Turkish). 15 October 2008. Retrieved 15 October 2008.
  5. ^ Hurriyetdailynews (14 May 2016). "Thousands expected to attend wedding of Erdoğan's daughter". Tehran Times. Mehr News Agency. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Biography". Presidency of Turkey. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  7. ^ "Presidency Of The Republic Of Turkey : First Lady: "Forced child marriage is unacceptable under any conditions"". www.tccb.gov.tr.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h "Projects Under First Lady Emine Erdoğan's Aegis". Presidency Of The Republic Of Turkey. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  9. ^ "Sıkça Sorulan Sorular". gonulelcileri.ailevecalisma.gov.tr. Gönül Elçileri. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  10. ^ "Emine Erdoğan: Kadın inanırsa o işin başarı oranı artıyor". Milliyet (in Turkish). 7 March 2019. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  11. ^ Emine Erdoğan, First Lady of the Republic of Turkey (PDF). Cumhurbaşkanlığı Yayınları. 2019. p. 35. ISBN 978-605-7751-01-0. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  12. ^ "Geleceğimi Koruyorum". arastirma.tarimorman.gov.tr. Ministry of Agriculture and Foresty. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  13. ^ "A first in Turkey: Zero waste district is established". Sıfır Atık. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  14. ^ "Court blocks access to forum pages on First Lady Erdoğan's Hermes handbag". www.duvarenglish.com. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  15. ^ "Journalist on trial over criticizing First Lady Erdoğan for using Hermes handbag". www.duvarenglish.com. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  16. ^ "PM confers Hilal-e-Pakistan award on Emine Erdogan". Associated Press of Pakistan. 16 February 2011. Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 16 February 2011.
  17. ^ "Turkish PM's wife presented with women's award". Anatolian Agency. 16 February 2011. Retrieved 16 February 2011.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Emine Erdoğan at Wikimedia Commons

Honorary titles
Preceded by First Lady of Turkey