Bülent Arınç

Bülent Arınç (Turkish pronunciation: [byˈlænt aˈɾɯntʃ]; born 25 May 1948) is a conservative Turkish politician. He served as the 22nd Speaker of the Parliament of Turkey from 2002 to 2007 and as a Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey between 2009 and 2015.

Bülent Arınç
Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey
In office
1 May 2009  28 August 2015
Prime MinisterRecep Tayyip Erdoğan
Ahmet Davutoğlu
Serving withCemil Çiçek (2009-11)
Ali Babacan (2009-15)
Beşir Atalay (2011-14)
Bekir Bozdağ (2011-13)
Emrullah İşler (2013-14)
Numan Kurtulmuş (2014-15)
Yalçın Akdoğan (2014-15)
Preceded byHayati Yazıcı
Succeeded byTuğrul Türkeş
22nd Speaker of the Grand National Assembly
In office
19 November 2002  22 July 2007
PresidentAhmet Necdet Sezer
Deputyİsmail Alptekin
Nevzat Pakdil
Sadık Yakut
Yılmaz Ateş
Preceded byÖmer İzgi
Succeeded byKöksal Toptan
Member of the Grand National Assembly
In office
24 December 1995  7 June 2015
ConstituencyManisa (1995, 1999, 2002, 2007)
Bursa (2011)
Personal details
Born (1948-05-25) 25 May 1948
Bursa, Turkey
Political partyWelfare Party (Before 1997)
Virtue Party (1997–2001)
Justice and Development Party (2001–present)
Spouse(s)Münevver Arınç
ChildrenMehmet Fatih
Alma materAnkara University

Early life and education

He was born on 25 May 1948 in Bursa, Turkey.[1] After finishing high school in Manisa, Bülent Arınç attended University of Ankara, earning a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1970.[1] After his graduation, he worked as a freelance lawyer in Manisa.[1] He is of Grecophone Cretan Muslim heritage with his ancestors arriving to Turkey as Cretan refugees during the time of Sultan Abdul Hamid II[2] and is fluent in Cretan Greek.[3]

Entry into politics

Interested in politics from his university years, Bülent Arınç ran for the deputy of Manisa in the 1995 general elections, and entered the Turkish Grand National Assembly from the Welfare Party (Turkish: Refah Partisi).[1] He became also a member of the board of his party, and served in the parliament’s justice commission.[1]

Following the closing of the Welfare Party by the Constitutional Court of Turkey on February 15, 1998, he transferred to the Virtue Party (Turkish: Fazilet Partisi). Arınç was elected in the 1999 general elections as deputy of Manisa, this time from the Virtue Party.[1] He became a member of the foreign affairs commission of the parliament.[1]

The constitutional court closed the Virtue Party on June 22, 2001.[1] Bülent Arınç, along with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, co-founded the Justice and Development Party (Turkish: Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi) the same year on August 14.[4] He was appointed speaker of his party’s group in the parliament.[1]

Bülent Arınç was elected the third time deputy of Manisa in the general elections held on November 3, 2002. On November 19, 2002, he was elected Speaker of the Parliament.[5] On May 1, 2009 he was appointed as State Minister Responsible for Foundations and the TRT and Deputy Prime Minister in the second cabinet of Erdoğan.[6]


Arınç refers to the Hagia Sophia as a mosque, which has angered the Greek government. He wishes to see it reconverted from a museum into a functioning mosque.[7]

In 2014, Arınç stated women should not laugh out loud to him in public during a speech about “moral corruption” at an Eid al-Fitr holiday gathering:[8][9]She will not laugh in public to Mr. Arinc. She will not be inviting in her attitudes and will protect her chasteness.” When asked to explain his comments, he suggested that women "leave their husbands at home, and go to vacation with their lovers" and that they "can't wait to climb poles when they see someone", referring to women who pole dance while on holiday. Both comments were widely ridiculed in social media.[10][11]

Personal life

Bülent Arınç is married with two children. His third child, a son, was killed in a traffic accident in 1997.[12] Arınç is of Muslim Cretan heritage with his ancestors arriving to Turkey as Cretan refugees during the time of Sultan Abdul Hamid II[2] and is fluent in Cretan Greek.[3]


  1. "TBMM'nin yeni başkanı Arınç" (in Turkish). Radikal.com.tr. 19 November 2002. Archived from the original on 19 October 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2011.
  2. "Arınç Ahmediye köyünde çocuklarla Rumca konuştu" [Arınç spoke Greek with the children in the village of Ahmediye]. Milliyet (in Turkish). Turkey. 23 September 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  3. Bülent Arınç anadili Rumca konuşurken [Bülent Arınç talking to native speakers of Greek] (video) (in Turkish and Greek). You Tube. 2013. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  4. "Meclis'in 6. partisi" (in Turkish). Zaman.com.tr. 15 August 2001. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2011.
  5. "İlk turda başkan" (in Turkish). Hurriyet.com.tr. 20 November 2002. Retrieved 13 January 2011.
  6. "Erdoğan announces major Cabinet reshuffle". Todayszaman.com. 1 May 2007. Archived from the original on 12 October 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2011.
  7. "Greece angered over Turkish Deputy PM's Hagia Sophia remarks - EUROPE". hurriyetdailynews.com.
  8. "Women should not laugh in public, Turkish deputy PM says". Hurriyet. 29 July 2014.
  9. Wagner, Meg (30 July 2014). "Turkish nude women share smiling selfies after politician tells them not to laugh out loud". New York Daily News.
  10. Letsch, Constanze (30 July 2014). "Turkish women defy deputy PM with laughter". The Guardian.
  11. Smith, Alexander (31 July 2014). "Turkish Deputy PM Turns Ire From Laughing Women to Pole-Dancing". NBC News.
  12. "RP'li Arınç'ın acı günü". Hurriyet (in Turkish). 14 September 1997. Retrieved 13 January 2011.

Media related to Bülent Arınç at Wikimedia Commons

Political offices
Preceded by
Ömer İzgi
Speaker of the Parliament
Succeeded by
Köksal Toptan
Preceded by
Hayati Yazıcı
Third Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey
Succeeded by
Tuğrul Türkeş
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