Çiller, Tansu

Çiller, Tansu tänˈso͞o chēlĕrˈ [key], 1946–, Turkish politician, first woman prime minister of Turkey (1993–96). She studied at the Univ. of the Bosporus, İstanbul (B.A.), Univ. of Connecticut (Ph.D.), and Yale, and was an economics professor during the late 1970s and 80s. Joining the ruling center-right True Path party (DYP) in 1990, she was elected to parliament in 1991. That year the generally liberal and pro-Western Çiller also became economics minister in Süleyman Demirel's cabinet. In 1993 she was elected party leader and named prime minister. Although she instituted various austerity measures, the faltering Turkish economy continued to decline during her tenure, and the nation was plagued by violence from separatist Kurds in SE Turkey. After the DYP lost its majority (1995), she stayed on as caretaker prime minister until 1996, and was deputy prime minister and foreign minister from 1996 to 1997.

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