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Recep Akdağ (born 8 May 1960) is a Turkish physician and politician. He is a member of parliament for the province of Erzurum from the Justice and Development Party. He currently serves as the Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey since 19 July 2017, and served as Minister of Health from 2016 to 2017, having previously served between 2002 and 2013.

Recep Akdağ

Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey
In office
19 July 2017 – 9 July 2018
Prime MinisterBinali Yıldırım
Serving withMehmet Şimşek
Bekir Bozdağ
Hakan Çavuşoğlu
Fikri Işık
Preceded byNurettin Canikli
Succeeded byoffice abolished
Minister of Health
In office
24 May 2016 – 19 July 2017
Prime MinisterBinali Yıldırım
Preceded byMehmet Müezzinoğlu
Succeeded byAhmet Demircan
In office
18 November 2002 – 24 January 2013
Prime MinisterAbdullah Gül
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Preceded byOsman Durmuş
Succeeded byMehmet Müezzinoğlu
Member of the Grand National Assembly
Assumed office
1 November 2015
ConstituencyErzurum (Nov 2015, 2018)
In office
3 November 2002 – 7 June 2015
ConstituencyErzurum (2002, 2007, 2011)
Personal details
Born (1960-05-08) 8 May 1960 (age 59)
Erzurum, Turkey
Political partyJustice and Development Party
Alma materAtatürk University
King's College London

Life and careerEdit

Akdağ was born on 8 May 1960 in Erzurum, the son of Yahya Akdağ and his wife Zekiye. He completed his primary and secondary education in Erzurum, and his high school education in Ankara at Atatürk High School.

He graduated from Faculty of Medicine at Atatürk University in 1984, becoming a medical doctor and going on to an academic career in the field of medicine. He performed his obligatory service as a practitioner in Karabük for two years. In 1990, Akdağ became Child Health and Diseases Specialist in the Medical Faculty of the Atatürk University.

In September 1991, Akdağ commenced studies on molecular biology techniques and especially on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) at King's College London School of Medicine in London, United Kingdom. He completed his studies in November 1992, and returned to Turkey.

He initiated the studies of "Diagnosis of Tuberculosis with PCR through making contributions to the establishment of the first Molecular DNA laboratory in the Eastern Anatolia Region through a research project" in line with these studies.

In 1992, he became an assistant professor in the Child Health and Diseases Main Branch of the Medical Faculty of Atatürk University. Akdağ received the title of associate professor in 1994, and the title of professor in 1999. He completed the "Gene Therapy" course successfully held at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden in 1998.

Between 1994 and 1998, he worked as Deputy Chief Doctor, Procurement Commission Head and Deputy Editor of the Medical Bulletin in the Research Hospital of the Medical Faculty of Atatürk University. He was the Deputy Head of the Atatürk University's Biotechnological Implementation and Research Center between 1997-2000, a member of the Medical Faculty of Atatürk University-University of Pittsburgh Cooperation Committee between 1998-2000, a member of the Transfusion Committee between 1998-2002, a member of the Commission of Pharmaceuticals, a member of the Ethical Committee and head of the Pharmaceuticals Research Committee.

He is a founding member and board member of the Erzurum Branch of the National Pediatrics Association, a member of the Turkish Pediatric Hematology Association and a member of the Turkish Hematology Association.

He has about 100 scientific articles and announcements. About 20 of these are of international character. The number of attributions included in Citation Index is 16. He gave speeches and took part as chairman in various meetings and symposia.

He won the Prize of the Article of the Year from the Chamber of Doctors of İstanbul in 1996.

Recep Akdağ worked as a lecturer in pediatrics and deputy chief physician of Atatürk University's Research Hospital before being elected to parliament representing Erzurum on 3 November 2002.

On 18 November 2002, Akdağ was appointed Minister of Health. As well as the day-to-day running of the public health system, he has had to deal with a number of issues including:

  • major reforms of the public health system to cut bureaucracy and increase efficiency, for example allowing public health patients to be treated privately at the state's expense, thus relieving the strain on state hospitals.
  • bringing the cost of pharmaceuticals in Turkey down to EU norms
  • the bird flu scare of 2006
  • calls for a government initiative on birth control and family planning to bring average family size down to EU norms. This plan has been shelved, and as the minister has six children himself perhaps this is not surprising.[1]

On 24 January 2013, he was replaced by Mehmet Müezzinoğlu at his post in the cabinet.[3]

Family lifeEdit

Akdağ is married, has six children and is one of the cabinet ministers.[4] He speaks English.[5][6]


  1. ^ Milliyet newspaper online - Recep Akdağ's speech
  2. ^ GMP / GDP Audit Guide of the Republic of Turkey
  3. ^ Şenyüz, Selçuk (2012-01-24). "Sürpriz zirve sonrası kabine değişikliği". Hürriyet (in Turkish). Retrieved 2013-01-24.
  4. ^ - Headscarf related news/
  5. ^ Ministry of Health of the Republic of Turkey bio (English)
  6. ^ Turkish Grand National Assembly bio (Turkish)