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May 25, 2019

Turkey has a new tourism minister after parliament reshuffle

The Hon. Numan Kurtulmuş is now the new minister of tourism in Turkey. Tourism is one of the most important foreign exchange earners in Turkey. Turkish controversial president Erdogan decided to fire the previous minister Prof. Dr. Nabi Avci and do a more sympathetic replacement.

This was reported by the Turkish newspaper Hürriyet today.

Kurtulmus thanked Avci for his services and pledged to continue important task for the better of the travel and tourism development in Turkey. He left details open.

Kurtulmuş was born in Ünye district of Ordu Province. His grandfather was a major in the Turkish army who fought in the Turkish War of Independence. He is of Georgian descent by his grandmother. Kurtulmuş is married, and is a father of three children. His wife Sevgi Kurtulmuş is an academician. He is fluent in English and his favorite football team is Fenerbahçe.

Kurtulmus received his bachelor’s and master’s degree at Istanbul University’s School of Business Administration. He had been at Cornell University as a visiting researcher, during his dissertation work at Istanbul University. Kurtulmus obtained his PhD in economics in 1992. He became Associate Professor in 1994 at Istanbul University, Faculty of Economics.

In 1998, Kurtulmuş became Istanbul provincial head of the Virtue Party (FP) and a member of the party’s General Administrative Board. Later he served as Istanbul Provincial head of Virtue Party and deputy chair.

Kurtulmuş was elected to the chair of the Felicity Party (SP) at the Third Ordinary Congress of the Party on 26 October 2008. After a rift developed with the followers of former FP leader and former Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan, signatures of a majority of the delegates asked for renewal of the congress and the sacking of Kurtulmuş. Refusing this, the matter ended up in court, and the court ruled that party administration should be transferred from his leadership to a board of trustees. After the ruling he had to resign from his position on 1 October 2010.

On November 1, 2010, Kurtulmuş founded a new party, the People’s Voice Party (Halkın Sesi Partisi), of which he was elected leader on November 28, 2010. In September 2012, two-year-old conservative-oriented People’s Voice Party(HSP) dissolved itself and joined the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) with a majority of its delegates’ votes.

He last served as the Deputy PM.

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