Süleyman Demirel is among the most prominent figures in Turkish Politics. He was born in Isparta. Demirel served as the prime minister of Turkey for 10 years and 152 days (second longest after Ismet Inönü). Later on, Demirel served as the 9th President of Turkey from 1993 to 2000.
You served the most years in office as the Prime Minister after Ismet Inönü. Then you served as the President. Which one was more difficult?
The Presidency and Prime Ministry are both positions that are vitally important in our country. Both have significant responsibilities and duties. That is the common role of these positions. They are both tough.
Your legacy is the way you address people. Is there a certain technique that you use? How can we deliver speeches smoothly? (We are debating in school, did you?)
Speaking professionally is about feeling the topic. It is also about ability and talent. Debating for students is really useful.
There is a university in Isparta named after you. You went to United States with a scholarship from the Eisenhower Foundation. What are the difference of being educated abroad?
Indeed, having a great education can change a person’s life. There is no limit for learning. No age limit either. Studying abroad gives you an ability to see things differently. I learned this in the States.
You have made many contributions to our democracy. Do you think there is a loop hole in our governmental system? If today you had power to amend something, what would you do?
Our democracy is very young. We struggled for many years. We learned a lot from our mistakes. But still we have many gaps. We will continue to develop.
One of your trademarks is your hat. When did you start wearing it?
I have been wearing it for a long time. Since 1955.
Can you tell us one of your personal traits that nobody knows that much?
I don’t have any ambiguous traits. I served for 60 years.
Lastly, what is your most important recommendation to the youth of today?
I recommend them to study, love your country and your people. Love Ataturk. Always be honest. Love life and trust to future.
Thank you very much.