Özal, Turgut, 1927–93, Turkish political leader, president of Turkey (1989–93). Trained as an electrical engineer, he worked for the Turkish state planning office in the 1950s and 60s, as an economist for the World Bank (1971–73), in private business, and as an adviser to President Süleyman Demirel (1979). When Demirel was overthrown in a military coup (1980), Öuzal stayed on as deputy prime minister. When military rule ended, he formed the center-right Motherland party and became prime minister (1983–89) and then president. Özal implemented economic reforms and telecommunications improvements and granted greater recognition to the country's Kurdish minority, and Turkey joined the United Nations coalition during the 1991 Persian Gulf War.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Turkish and Ottoman History: Biographies