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Bülent Arınç…Conscience of AKP | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc speaks during a
news conference at the parliament in Ankara. Photo: Reuters

Bülent Arınç has been one of the most important figures of the Turkish political scene over more than 40 years which he spent in the parliament as deputy of Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan, and then one of the three pillars in the Justice and Development Party (AKP) along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and former President Abdullah Gül.

Throughout his political path, Arınç has been a modest man who committed to principles.

He was appointed in many positions as parliament speaker, minister (many times), and deputy prime minister. But his relation with Erdoğan has worsened lately with many indications on a possible split.

Over the past three years, Arınç seemed unsatisfied with the AKP’s performance and the general political scene in Turkey, but he maintained silence for the sake of the party.

During 2015, Bülent Arınç, who was known as the conscience of AKP and the wise man of the party, refuted the conflict between Erdogan and his former ally Fethullah Gülen, who was blamed for the failed coup attempt that took place in Turkey in July.

Prior to the June 2015 elections, Arınç expressed his rejection of the political situation in the country and expected a painful strike to hit the Justice and Development Party, and said that he has many secrets that he will announce after the elections.

After this announcement, the Turkish politician was banned from appearing on the official TV channel and in five other lectures in different universities in Turkey.

A violent verbal war was making headlines on social media and television between Arınç and Ankara’s Mayor Melih Gökçek, which included many offences, accusations, and distrust.

The crackdown that followed the failed coup attempt in Turkey has included 154 employees in the Ministry of Health including one of the close relatives of Arınç’s wife, Diaa Tay. Commenting on the act, the Turkish split politician said on Twitter that Tay is a very decent and national figure and that his appointment in his position was legitimate.

Arınç’s said that many of the figures in Erdogan’s entourage always belonged to Gulen’s school, but have pretended the opposite after the coup attempt, and insisted on defending Gulen till the end.

In fact, Arınç has been fighting in many political battles since 2015 objection on the suspension of many old founding members of the AKP and considered that the party succeeded in achieving development but not justice.

Opposing voice in the AKP

Arınç has always been an opposing voice in the AKP. In March, he criticized Erdogan’s policy concerning his intervention in the government’s performance in the peace talks with the Kurd rebels.

Following his opposing positions, he faced a violent war on social media that comprised offences and threats. However, many of the government’s ministers including former Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin supported Arınç.

At that time, Arınç statements made a crisis and pointed to a possible split that may affect the stability of the Justice and Development Party. But, the Former Prime Minister Abdullah Gul intervened and contained the conflict before it affects the party.

However, Arınç’s absence from the celebration ceremony of the 15th anniversary of AKP’s establishment has reflected ongoing conflicts.


Bülent Arınç was born on 25 May 1948 in Bursa. After finishing high school in Manisa, Bülent Arınç attended University of Ankara, earning a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1970.

He has started his political path as member in the parliament for Manisa to represent the Welfare Party. Bülent Arınç was elected for the third time as deputy of Manisa in the general elections held on November 3, 2002.

On November 19, 2002, he was elected Speaker of the Parliament. 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.