Egemen Bağış

Egemen Bağış (Turkish pronunciation: [eɟeˈmen baːˈɯʃ]) (born 23 April 1970) is a former Turkish politician, former member of the Turkish parliament, and the former minister for EU Affairs and chief negotiator of Turkey in accession talks with the European Union.[1]

Egemen Bağış
Minister of European Union Affairs
In office
29 June 2011  25 December 2013
Prime MinisterRecep Tayyip Erdoğan
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byMevlüt Çavuşoğlu
Chief Negotiator for Turkish Accession to the European Union
In office
11 January 2009  25 December 2013
Prime MinisterRecep Tayyip Erdoğan
Preceded byAli Babacan
Succeeded byMevlüt Çavuşoğlu
Member of the Grand National Assembly
In office
19 November 2002  7 June 2015
Constituencyİstanbul (II) (2002, 2007)
İstanbul (I) (2011)
Personal details
Born (1970-04-23) 23 April 1970
Bingöl, Turkey
Political partyJustice and Development Party (AKP)
Spouse(s)Beyhan N. Bağış
Alma materBaruch College

Early life

Bağış was born in Bingöl, Turkey, in 1970. His family originates from the neighbouring province of Siirt, where his father once served as mayor. His father Abdullah Bağış died during his tenure in New York as the Educational Attache of Turkey.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Resources Management as well as a Master of Public Administration, both from the Baruch College of City University of New York.

Official responsibilities

  • Member of the Turkish Parliament, representing Istanbul
  • Chairman, Turkey-USA Inter Parliamentary Friendship Caucus of the Turkish Parliament
  • Advisory Board Chairman, Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture Initiative.
  • Honorary board member of the Siirt Solidarity Foundation.

As a top adviser to the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Bağış played a key role in the Justice and Development Party's (AKP) policies.

Federation of Turkish American Associations

Bağış formerly served as the president of the Federation of Turkish American Associations, the New York-based umbrella organization of Turkish-Americans that sponsored his green card petition in the United States. He has also served as a member of the Advisory Board on Turkish Citizens Abroad, a government body. He was the manager of the Antik Bar at the Jolly Madison Hotel serving the Turkish American community.[2][3] He also founded the Turkish Link, a New York-based translation agency specialized in the Turkish and English languages.[4]


Protests of 2013

During the 2013 protests in Turkey, Bağış attracted criticism for his comments that "Everyone who enters Taksim Square will be treated like a terrorist."[5] In an officially published statement, and despite claims and evidence presented by organizations such as Amnesty International, Bağış claimed that "There is no state violence in Turkey".[6] In the same statement, he claimed that "Turkey has the most reformist and strongest government in Europe and the most charismatic and strongest leader in the world. Should anyone have a problem with this, then I am truly sorry. Only for those who feel overwhelmed is the leadership of Prime Minister Erdoğan a problem."[6]

Germany's Foreign Ministry summoned the Turkish ambassador to protest after Bağış accused German Chancellor Angela Merkel of "picking on" Turkey for domestic political gain before German elections, after Merkel criticized the crackdown as "much too strong". The accusation came after Germany blocked a decision to move forward the membership negotiations after the crackdown. Bağış said that if Merkel is looking for "internal political material" ahead of Germany’s September elections, "this should not be Turkey". He also pointed to the election defeat last year of then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy, a fellow opponent of Turkish EU membership.[7]

"Masturbation" remark

In January 2013 Bağış compared the campaign to recognize the Assyrian genocide and Armenian Genocide in Sweden to "masturbation" .[8] He later apologised for his remark.[9]

Corruption scandal

As part of claims that Bağış, along with 3 other ministers, engaged in severely corrupt conduct, Bağış was the only one out of the four charged ministers who had not resigned on 25 December 2013. Despite Bağış claiming innocence, that evening, Prime Minister Erdoğan announced a major cabinet reshuffle, removing Bağış from his post as the Minister for European Union through his publicly unannounced official resignation.[10]

See also


  1. "Turkey's Chief EU Negotiator Bağış Arrives in London". Retrieved 9 February 2010.
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 December 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. "Everyone who enters Taksim will be treated as a terrorist: Turkish EU Minister". Hürriyet Daily News. 16 June 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  4. "Statement on the recent events by the Turkish EU Minister". Turkish Ministry for EU Affairs. 15 June 2013. Archived from the original on 17 June 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  5. "Germany summons Turkish ambassador to hear protest after minister assails Chancellor Merkel". Washington Post. (Associated Press). 21 June 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  6. "Turkish EU Minister Compares Assyrian Genocide of 1915 to Masturbation". AINA. 26 February 2013. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
  7. "Turkish Minister 'Apologizes' to Assyrians for Genocide 'Masturbation' Remark". AINA. 12 March 2013. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
  8. "BAKANLARIN İSTİFASI VE ATANMASINA DAİR İŞLEM". T.C. Resmi Gazete. 25 December 2013. Archived from the original on 22 December 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
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