Erbakan, Necmettin (nĕjˈmətĭn ârˈbäkän) [key], 1926–2011, Turkish politician. Trained as an engineer, he received a doctorate in Germany and worked there for several years. In 1970 he establishedan Islamist political party, which advocated Turkey's return to religious values and practices. Although the party was repeatedly banned by the military government, Erbakan was deputy prime minister twice in the 1970s. After being banned (1980–87) from political activities, he became (1987) leader of the Islamist Welfare party. After the 1995 elections the party formed (1996) a coalition government, and Erbakan became modern Turkey's first Islamist prime minister. He challenged the country's entrenched secularism, advocated Muslim education and culture, and sought alliances with Iran and Libya. His policies alarmed the military, which ousted him in 1997 and again banned him from in politics. He later (2003–4; 2010–11) headed the Felicity party.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.