President of Turkey
The President of the Republic of Turkey is the head of state and head of government of the Republic of Turkey. Following the 2018 general election, the incumbent office-holder assumed the role of an Executive President and holds both ceremonial and executive status. In this capacity, the President represents the Republic of Turkey, the unity of the Turkish nation, as well as ensuring the implementation of the Constitution of Turkey and the organized and harmonious functioning of the organs of state; the articles from 101 to 106 of the Constitution establish all the requirements, election and responsibilities for the office of the President. The office of the President of Turkey was established with the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey on 29 October 1923; the President of Turkey is referred to as the Cumhurbaşkanı, meaning'President of the People'. Since 1950, the presidency has been a ceremonial office. However, in a 2017 referendum, the Turkish people narrowly voted to make the presidency an executive post, effective with the 2018 general election.
The current office-holder is Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has held the office since 28 August 2014. Since 9 July 2018, Erdoğan has served as the first Executive President, with increased legislative and judicial powers. In order to become the President of Turkey, the candidate must have completed higher education, be of at least forty years of age. If they are a member of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, they must resign their seat. In the past, Turkish presidents were required to sever all relations, if any, with their political party; the election of the President must begin at least 30 days before the term of office of the incumbent president expires or 10 days after the presidency falls vacant, must be completed within 30 days of the beginning of the election. Candidates must be declared to the bureau of the parliament within the first 10 days of this period, elections must be completed within the remaining 20 days; the President was elected by the members of the Turkish Parliament. According to an amendment, drafted in 2007, the future Presidents shall be elected by the citizens through a public vote.
The candidates must have completed higher education. They can either be members of the Turkish Parliament, or members of the public who fulfill these requirements and who are eligible to become members of parliament; the President is selected for a term of office of five years, is eligible for re-election. The term of office of the incumbent president continues. On assuming office, the president takes the following oath before the parliament: I swear upon my honour and integrity, before the great Turkish Nation, to safeguard the existence and independence of the state, the indivisible integrity of the country and the nation, the absolute sovereignty of the nation; the oath is broadcast live on TBMM-TV regardless of it is a regular business day of TBMM. to deliver, if he deems it necessary, the opening address of the parliament on the first day of the legislative year, to summon the parliament to meet, when necessary, to promulgate laws, to return laws to the parliament to be reconsidered, to submit to referendum, if he deems it necessary, legislation regarding amendment of the constitution, to appeal to the Constitutional Court for the annulment of certain provisions or the entirety of laws, decrees having the force of law, the Rules of Procedure of the parliament on the grounds that they are unconstitutional in form or in content, to call new elections for the parliament and presidency to deliver budget to TBMM Budget Commission to appoint and dismiss ministers to appoint vice president to accredit representatives of the Turkish State to foreign states, to receive the representatives of foreign states appointed to the Republic of Turkey, to ratify and promulgate international treaties, to represent the Supreme Military Command of the Turkish Armed Forces on behalf of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, to decide on the mobilization of the Turkish Armed Forces, to appoint the Chief of the General Staff, to call the National Security Council to meet, to preside over the National Security Council, to proclaim state of emergency, send to TBMM to get parliamentary approval, in state of emergency every decree president issues will need parliamentary approval to sign executive decrees, to appoint the members and the chairman of the State Supervisory Council, to instruct the State Supervisory Council to carry out inquiries and inspections, to appoint the members of the Constitutional Court, one-fourth of the members of the Council of State, the Chief Public Prosecutor and the Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor of the Higher Court of Appeals, the members of the Military High Court of Appeals, the members of the Supreme Military Administrative Court and the members of the Supreme Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors.
The president performs the duties of selection and appointment, other duties conferred by the constitution and laws. All presidential decrees, except those which the president is empowered to enact on his own, must be signed by the prime minister and the minister concerned, in accordance with the provisions of the constitution and other laws, thus the prime minister and the concerned ministers are accountable for these decrees. The decisions and orders s
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is a Turkish politician serving as the 12th and current President of Turkey since 2014. He served as Prime Minister from 2003 to 2014 and as Mayor of Istanbul from 1994 to 1998, he founded the Justice and Development Party in 2001, leading it to general election victories in 2002, 2007 and 2011 before standing down upon his election as President in 2014. Coming from an Islamist political background and as a self-described conservative democrat, he has promoted conservative and liberal economic policies in his administration. Under his administration, Turkey has experienced democratic backsliding. Erdoğan played football for Kasımpaşa before being elected in 1994 as the Mayor of Istanbul from the Islamist Welfare Party, he was stripped of his position, banned from political office, imprisoned for four months, for reciting a poem that promoted a religious point of view of government during a speech in 1998. Erdoğan abandoned Islamist politics and established the moderate conservative AKP in 2001.
Following the AKP's landslide victory in 2002, the party's co-founder Abdullah Gül became Prime Minister, until his government annulled Erdoğan's ban from political office. Erdoğan became Prime Minister in March 2003 after winning a by-election in Siirt. Erdoğan's government oversaw negotiations for Turkey's membership in the European Union, an economic recovery following a financial crash in 2001, changes to the constitution via referenda in 2007 and 2010, a Neo-Ottoman foreign policy, investments in infrastructure including roads, a high-speed train network, the Turkish currency and debt crisis of 2018. With the help of the Cemaat Movement led by preacher Fethullah Gülen, Erdoğan was able to curb the power of the military through the Sledgehammer and Ergenekon court cases. In late 2012, his government began peace negotiations with the Kurdistan Workers Party to end the ongoing PKK insurgency that began in 1978; the ceasefire broke down in 2015. In 2016, a coup d'état was unsuccessfully attempted against Turkish state institutions.
This was followed by an ongoing state of emergency. Political scientists no longer consider Turkey as a fledged democracy, citing the lack of free and fair elections and jailing of opponents, curtailed press freedom, Erdoğan's efforts to broaden his executive powers and minimize his executive accountability. Widespread 2013 protests broke out against the perceived authoritarianism of Erdoğan's policies; this stalled negotiations related to EU membership. Following a split with Gülen, Erdoğan promulgated sweeping judicial reforms he insisted were needed to purge Gülen's sympathisers, but which were criticised for threatening judicial independence. A US$100 billion corruption scandal in 2013 led to the arrests of Erdoğan's close allies, incriminated Erdoğan, his government has since come under fire for alleged human rights violations and crackdown on press and social media, having blocked access to Wikipedia, Twitter and YouTube on numerous occasions. Erdoğan's government lifted the bans when directed by court orders, but reimposed them.
In 2016, Turkey under Erdoğan began a crackdown on freedom of the press. He was re-elected in the 2018 general election and assumed the role of Executive President and became both the head of state and head of government. Erdoğan was born in the Kasımpaşa neighborhood in Istanbul, to which his family had moved from Rize Province, his parents were Tenzile Erdoğan. In August 2003 during his official visit in Tbilisi, Erdoğan explained his Georgian roots, he told the story of his Adjarian forefathers, which migrated after the Russo-Turkish War from Batumi to Rize. According to journalistic investigation held by OdaTV in 2009, his grandfather's nickname "Bakatalı" is claimed to be originating from the village of Bagata, today in the Tskhinvali District of South Ossetia. Georgians in Turkey are Muslims, who had arrived during Ottoman times in several waves of migration from Caucasus, due to the Russo-Turkish Wars; however in a 2014 televised interview on the NTV news network, he said, "You wouldn't believe the things they have said about me.
They have said I am Georgian... forgive me for saying this... much uglier things, they have called me an Armenian, but I am Turkish."Erdoğan spent his early childhood in Rize, where his father was a Captain in the Turkish Coast Guard. Erdoğan had a brother sister Vesile, his summer holidays were spent in Güneysu, where his family originates. Throughout his life he returned to this spiritual home, in 2015 he opened a vast mosque on a mountaintop near this village; the family returned to Istanbul. As a teenager, he sold lemonade and sesame buns on the streets of the city's rougher districts to earn extra money. Brought up in an observant Muslim family, Erdoğan graduated from Kasımpaşa Piyale primary school in 1965, İmam Hatip school, a religious vocational high school, in 1973, he received his high school diploma from Eyüp High School. According to his official biography, he subsequently studied Business Administration at the Aksaray School of Economics and Commercial Sciences, now known as Marmara University's Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences — although several Turkis
2009 Turkish local elections
Turkey held local elections on 29 March 2009. The overall winner was the ruling party Justice and Development Party, although the party saw a decline in its vote relative to the 2007 general election; the leading opposition party, the social democratic Kemalist CHP, increased its vote share, as did a number of smaller parties including the SP, DTP and BBP, whose party leader Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu had died in a helicopter crash four days before the election. The third largest party, the Turkish nationalist MHP, enjoyed a more modest vote surge; the election was not contested by Cem Uzan's GP. The AKP failed to take certain provinces it had publicly targeted, such as Diyarbakır, İzmir and Urfa, did not achieve its goal of exceeding 47% of the overall vote. There was localized election-related fighting in southeastern Turkey, in which five people were reported to have been killed and about a hundred injured; the provisional results for provincial councils are given below: 1 Figures are provisional and will be subject to official review and confirmation.
2 Great Union Party leader Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu died in a helicopter crash four days before the local elections. Elections were held for district mayors as well as neighbourhood presidents. Metropolitan provinces are in bold. AKP denotes provinces won by the Justice & Development Party, CHP denotes provinces won by the Republican People's Party, MHP denotes provinces won by the Nationalist Movement Party, DTP denotes provinces won by the Democratic Society Party, BBP denotes provinces won by the Great Union Party, DSP denotes provinces won by the Democratic Left Party and DP denotes provinces won by the Democratic Party
Secularism in Turkey
Secularism in Turkey defines the relationship between religion and state in the country of Turkey. Secularism was first introduced with the 1928 amendment of the Constitution of 1924, which removed the provision declaring that the "Religion of the State is Islam", with the reforms of Turkey's first president Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, which set the administrative and political requirements to create a modern, secular state, aligned with Kemalism. Nine years after its introduction, laïcité was explicitly stated in the second article of the Turkish constitution on February 5, 1937; the current Constitution of 1982 promotes any. The principle of Turkish secularism, more to the separation between state and religion and Atatürk as a Turkish intellectual "sought" secularism as a principle of state modernization and progressive ideas which included not only political and government life but the social and cultural environment of society, still dominated by superstition and ignorance. Unlike other definitions of secularism where it means separation between church and state, in Turkey the term laiklik denotes state control and legal regulation of religion.
Turkey's "laïcité" calls for the separation of religion and the state, but describes the state's stance as one of "active neutrality". Turkey's actions related with religion are analyzed and evaluated through the Presidency of Religious Affairs; the duties of the Presidency of Religious Affairs are "to execute the works concerning the beliefs and ethics of Islam, enlighten the public about their religion, administer the sacred worshipping places". The history of secularism in Turkey extends to the Tanzimat reforms of Ottoman Empire; the second peak in secularism occurred during the Second Constitutional Era. The current form was achieved by Atatürk's Reforms; the establishing structure of the Ottoman Empire was an Islamic state in which the head of the Ottoman state was the Sultan. The social system was organized around millet. Millet structure allowed a great degree of religious and ethnic continuity to non-Muslim populations across the subdivisions of the Ottoman Empire and at the same time it permitted their incorporation into the Ottoman administrative and political system.
The Ottoman-appointed governor collected taxes and provided security, while the local religious or cultural matters were left to the regional communities to decide. On the other hand, the sultans were Muslims and the laws that bound them were based on the Sharia, the body of Islamic law, as well as various cultural customs; the Sultan, beginning in 1517, was a caliph, the leader of all the Sunni Muslims in the world. By the turn of the 19th century the Ottoman ruling elite recognized the need to restructure the legislative and judiciary systems to cope with their new political rivals in Europe; when the millet system started to lose its efficiency due to the rise of nationalism within its borders, the Ottoman Empire explored new ways of governing its territory composed of diverse populations. Sultan Selim III founded the first secular military schools by establishing the new military unit, Nizam-ı Cedid, as early as 1792; however the last century of the Ottoman Empire had many far reaching reforms.
These reforms peaked with the Tanzimat, the initial reform era of the Ottoman Empire. After the Tanzimat, such as those relating to the equalized status of non-Muslim citizens, the establishment of a parliament, the abandonment of medieval punishments for apostasy, as well as the codification of the constitution of the empire and the rights of Ottoman subjects were established; the First World War brought about the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the subsequent partitioning of the Ottoman Empire by the victorious Allies. Therefore, the Republic of Turkey was a nation-state built as a result of an empire lost. During the establishment of the Republic, there were two sections of the elite group at the helm of the discussions for the future; these were Westerners. They shared the modernization of the new state. Many basic goals were common to both groups; the founder of the modern Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's achievement was to amplify this common ground and put the country on a fast track of reforms, now known as Atatürk's Reforms.
Their first act was to give the Turkish nation the right to exercise popular sovereignty via representative democracy. Prior to declaring the new Republic, the Turkish Grand National Assembly abolished the constitutional monarchy on November 1, 1922; the Turkish Grand National Assembly moved to replace the extant Islamic law structure with the laws it had passed during the Turkish War of Independence, beginning in 1919. The modernization of the Law had begun at the point that the project was undertaken in earnest. A milestone in this process was the passage of the Turkish Constitution of 1921. Upon the establishment of the Republic on October 29, 1923, the institution of the caliphate remained, but the passage of a new constitution in 1924 abolished this title held by the Ottoman Sultanate since 1517; as the new constitution eliminated the caliphate it, at the same time, declared Islam as the official religion of the Turkish Republic. The caliphate's powers within Turkey were transferred to the National Assembly and the title has since been inactive.
The Turkish Republic does in theory still retain the right to reinstate the caliphate, should it elect to do so. Following upon these developments, a number of social reforms were undertaken. Many of these r
2014 Turkish local elections
Local elections were held in Turkey on 30 March 2014, with some repeated on 1 June 2014. Metropolitan and district mayors as well as their municipal council members in cities, muhtars and "elderly councils" in rural areas were elected. In light of the controversy around the elections, it was viewed as a referendum on the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. About 50 million people were eligible to vote. A local government re-organisation took place before the election, lowering the total number of elected officials from 38,592 to 23,132. 1,500 beldes had their municipalities abolished, meaning that a fewer number of mayors were elected compared to the 2009 local elections. Most provinces no longer elect any provincial councillors; the number of metropolitan municipalities, rose from 16 to 30. The elections were marred by allegations of electoral fraud and violence, with both opposition and ruling party candidates alike refusing to recognise a wide variety of results. Significant cases of fraud in Ankara and Yalova were referred to the Supreme Electoral Council of Turkey for reviewal.
Allegations of misconduct included the untimely power cuts in several areas while the votes were being counted, intimidation by government forces such as the European Union Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and the Anatolian Agency in electorally strategic districts, the theft and burning of votes cast for opposition candidates and the recording of opposition votes as invalid or blank. The elections had been controversial due to allegations of government corruption, voter bribery and the lack of up-to-date voter records beforehand. Regardless, the governing Justice and Development Party declared victory in the early hours of 31 March, gaining 42.89% of the vote, 818 municipalities and 11,309 councillors. The opposition Republican People's Party came second with 26.34%, 232 municipalities and 4,320 councillors, announcing that it would be filing complaints against alleged electoral manipulation. By 4 April 2014, numerous municipalities changed mayors following recounts. Gradual post-election revelations of alleged widespread irregularities in several cities sparked pro-democracy protests after provisional results were announced, while the Electoral Council declared results in some areas null and void.
A repeat of the elections in these areas took place on 1 June. These most notably occurred in Yalova and Ağrı, in which the ruling AKP had lost by a small margin to the CHP and BDP on March 30. In a first of a series of trials relating to electoral fraud claims, a returning officer was sentenced to five years in prison in June 2015 after being found guilty of transferring CHP votes to the AKP. Turkish local elections are held every five years in order to elect mayors to 30 metropolitan municipalities, 1,008 district municipalities and 2,187 town municipalities. In addition, an excess of 53,450 neighbourhood leaders are elected, though most are non-partisan and do not have any declared political allegiance. Elderly and municipal council compositions were elected through a separate ballot; the previous elections were held on 29 March 2009 and were won by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's AKP with 38.8% of the vote. Before the elections, the numbers of councillors and mayors were reduced during the 2013 Turkish local government reorganisation.
During the reorganisation, 1,040 beldes were abolished, leaving the number of small town municipalities at 394 and contributing to the reduction in the number of mayors elected in 2014 in comparison to 2009. The following table shows the numbers of metropolitan and district municipalities, as well as provincial and municipal councillors elected in 2009 and in 2014. In local elections, municipal mayors and councillors are the only partisan officials elected. In 2013, a spate of anti-government protests and counter measures took place; the 2014 local elections are the first elections since the protests, have thus been seen as a test for the government's popularity following a criticism both domestically and internationally for what was perceived to be a crackdown on peaceful protestors. The controversy surrounding the police response resulted in Germany seeking to delay European Union accession talks with Turkey. On 17 December 2013, police arrested several close associates and family members of government ministers as part of a corruption investigation.
Prime Minister Erdoğan responded by either dismissing or reassigning thousands of police and judicial personnel while denying all allegations of wrongdoing. A string of recorded phone calls between government ministers and close supporters discussing corruption were made public following the start of the corruption scandal. On 24 February 2014, a 10-minute phone call between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his son Necmettin Bilal Erdoğan were made public, in which the Prime Minister was warning his son of police searches in other government ministers' residences and telling him to "nullify" any cash which might be stored in their own; the tape caused particular damnation, after which CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu advised the Prime Minister to "flee by helicopter." The Prime Minister responded by calling the tape a "montage," though this claim could not be verified by the national scientific development agency TÜBİTAK. It was reported that six people were removed from their roles at TÜBİTAK for refusing to falsify the recording, with one reporting that he was asked by superiors to manipulate reports related to the recordings.
Following the release, thousands took to the streets demanding the go
National Security Council (Turkey)
The National Security Council comprises the Chief of Staff, select members of the Council of Ministers, the President of the Republic. Like the national security councils of other countries, the MGK develops the national security policy; the policy is expressed in the National Security Policy Document known as "The Red Book". The Red Book is sometimes called the "most secret" document in Turkey, it is updated twice a decade. The creation of the MGK was an outcome of the military coup in 1960, has been a part of the constitution since 1961. In this way the 1961 constitution created what the Turkish scholar Sakallioğlu labels "a double headed political system: the civilian council of ministers coexisted with the national security council on the executive level, the military system of justice continued to operate independently alongside the civilian justice system."The role of the MGK was further strengthened with the 1982 constitution, adopted by the military junta in the aftermath of the 1980 military coup, before transferring power to civilian politicians.
From on its recommendations would be given priority consideration by the council of ministers. Furthermore, the number and weight of senior military commanders in MGK increased at the expense of its civilian members. In 1992 chief of general staff Gen. Doğan Güreş proclaimed self-confidently that "Turkey is a military state"; the MGK is perceived as the institutionalisation of the Turkish military's influence over politics. Since Mustafa Kemal Atatürk founded the modern secular republic of Turkey in 1923, the Turkish military has perceived itself as guardian of Kemalism, the official state ideology though Atatürk himself insisted separating the military from politics. Though the attitude of the military may have remained constant, the attitude of the successive civilian governments toward the military has fluctuated, according to Metin Heper: "In Turkey, for a long time, there have been two notable behavioral patterns on the part of civilian governments in their relations with the military: they have either tried to relegate the military to the sidelines or they have granted it too much autonomy."
When the civilian government was successful in solving economic problems and internal disputes and "had the upper hand," sometimes as in the 1950s, the civilian government "tried to divest the military of all authority" and the government and military officers became "hostile adversaries."As a result of these fluctuations in the relationship, there have been two direct coups d’états in 1960 and 1980, the 1971 coup by memorandum, what has been labelled a "post modern coup", when Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan from the pro-Islamic Welfare Party stepped down after mounting pressure from the military in 1997. Paradoxically, the military has both been an important force in Turkey's continuous Westernization but at the same time represents an obstacle for Turkey's desire to join the EU. At the same time, the military enjoys a high degree of popular legitimacy, with continuous opinion polls suggesting that the military is the state institution that the Turkish people trust the most. In order to meet EU's political demands for starting membership negotiations, the Copenhagen criteria, Turkey has passed a number of reforms aiming at strengthening civilian control over the military.
These reforms have focused on the MGK, its duties and composition. On 23 July 2003 the Turkish Grand National Assembly passed the "seventh reform package", which aimed at limiting the role of the military, through reforms of the MGK. According to an editorial in the Financial Times the seventh reform package constitutes nothing less than a "quiet revolution". Firstly it is underlined; the 7th reform package made it possible to appoint a civilian Secretary General of the MGK, which happened for the first time in August 2004. The council has not anymore expanded executive and monitoring authorities, has for instance not any more the authority on behalf of the president and the prime minister to follow up on the implementation of the MGK's ‘recommendations’. In addition, the MGK no longer has unlimited access to all civil institutions; the MGK no longer has a representative in the Supervision Board of Cinema and Music. It was however still represented in civil institutions such as the High Board for Radio and TV and the Commission for Higher Education, but after critics in the 2003 European Commission report this representation was withdrawn from both institutions in 2004.
Despite the impressive institutional changes, the 2004 European Commission report concludes that "Although the process of aligning civil-military relations with EU practice is underway, the Armed Forces in Turkey continue to exercise influence through a series of informal channels." In the Commission report of the following year it was stated that: "Reforms concerning civil-military relations have continued, but the armed forces still exert significant influence by issuing public statements on political developments and government policies."Before the reforms, the MGK covertly influenced public opinion through its Public Relations Command. The department has been disbanded; the NSC and the Secretariat General of the NSC that appointed members are the following: President: Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Prime Minister: Binali Yıldırım National Defence Minister: Fikri Işık Internal Affairs Minister: Süleyman Soylu Foreign Affairs Minister: Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu Chief of the General Staff: General Hulusi Akar Land Force Commander: General Salih Zeki Çolak Naval Force Commander: Admiral Bülent
Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu is a Turkish social democratic politician. He is leader of the CHP and has been Leader of the Main Opposition in Turkey since 2010, he served as a Member of Parliament for İstanbul's second electoral district from 2002 to 2015 and as an MP for İzmir's second electoral district as of 7 June 2015. Before entering politics, Kılıçdaroğlu was a civil servant and served as the President of the Social Insurance Institution from 1992 to 1996 and again from 1997 to 1999, he was elected to Parliament in the 2002 general election and became the CHP's parliamentary group leader. In the 2009 local elections, he was nominated as the CHP candidate for the Mayor of İstanbul and lost to the AKP with 37% of the vote, where the candidate from the AKP got 44.71% of the votes. He was elected deputy chairman of the Socialist International on 31 August 2012. After Deniz Baykal resigned as the party's leader in 2010, Kılıçdaroğlu announced his candidacy and was unanimously elected unopposed as the leader of the CHP.
He was seen as to breathe new life into the CHP. Although the CHP saw a subsequent increase in its share of the vote, it didn't win any elections. Kılıçdaroğlu was born on 17 December 1948 in Ballıca village of Nazımiye district in Tunceli Province, eastern Turkey to Kamer, a clerk-recorder of deeds and his wife Yemuş, he was the fourth of seven children. His father was among thousands of exiled Alevis following the failed Dersim Rebellion. According to İdris Gürsoy, his family belonged to the Cebeligiller clan of the Kureyşan tribe and Zaza Kurd origin, but Kılıçdaroğlu said his background is Turkmen, his father changed their family name in the 1950s from Karabulut to Kılıçdaroğlu since all the people in the village they lived in had the same family name. Kemal continued his primary and secondary education in various places like Erciş, Genç and Elazığ, he was educated in economics at the Ankara Academy of Economics and Commercial Sciences, from which he graduated in 1971. During his youth days, he earned his living by selling goods.
After university, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu entered the Ministry of Finance as a junior account specialist in 1971. He was promoted to accountant and was sent to France for additional professional training. In 1983, he was appointed deputy director general of the Revenues Department in the same ministry. At that time he worked with Prime Minister Turgut Özal. In 1991, Kılıçdaroğlu became director-general of the Social Security Organization for Artisans and Self-Employed; the following year he was appointed director-general of the Social Security Organization. In 1994, Kılıçdaroğlu was named "Civil Servant of the Year" by the weekly periodical Ekonomik Trend. Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu retired from the Social Security Organization in January 1999. Kılıçdaroğlu taught at the Hacettepe University and chaired the Specialized Commission on the Informal Economy within the framework of the preparation of the Eighth Five-Year Development Plan, he acted as a member of the Executive Board of İş Bank. He retired from bureaucracy in 1999 and tried to enter politics from within Bülent Ecevit's Democratic Left Party.
Kılıçdaroğlu was referred to as the "star of the DSP". It was claimed. However, he did not succeed in this venture, though, as he could not get on the party's candidates' list. Instead, during his chairmanship of an association that aimed to protect citizens' tax payments, he was invited by the leader of the CHP Deniz Baykal to join his party. Kılıçdaroğlu accepted the invitation. Following the 2002 general election, he entered the parliament as a deputy from Istanbul. In the 2007 general election, he was re-elected to parliament, he became deputy speaker of his party's parliamentary group. Kılıçdaroğlu's efforts to uncover malpractice among high-ranking Justice and Development Party politicians carried him to headlines in the Turkish media. Two deputy chairmen of the ruling AKP, Şaban Dişli and Dengir Mir Mehmet Fırat, resigned from their respective positions in the party following television debates with Kılıçdaroğlu. Furthermore, he publicly accused the AKP-affiliated Mayor of Ankara, Melih Gökçek, of complicity in a corruption scandal relating to the "Deniz Feneri" charity based in Germany.
Kılıçdaroğlu was announced as the CHP's mayoral candidate for the 2009 local elections by the party leader Deniz Baykal on 22 January 2009. Kılıçdaroğlu announced that he would run his campaign based on clean politics, vowing to open cases of corruption against the serving incumbent, AKP mayor Kadir Topbaş. Claiming that he would work for the workers of İstanbul, he challenged Topbaş to a televised live debate. In the election, Kılıçdaroğlu was beaten by Topbaş with 37% of the votes to Topbaş's 44.7%. Long-time leader of the CHP, Deniz Baykal, resigned on May 2010 following a video tape scandal. Kılıçdaroğlu announced his candidacy for the position on May 17, five days before an upcoming party convention. According to reports, the party was divided over the leadership issue, with its Central Executive Board insisting that Baykal retake the position, but after Kılıçdaroğlu received the support of 77 of his party's 81 provincial chairpersons, Baykal decided not to run for re-election. For a candidacy to become official, CHP by-laws require the support of 20% of convention delegates.
At the party convention, which started on 22 May 2010, Kılıçdaroğlu's candidacy received the signatures of 1,246 out of the 1,250 delegates, which set a new record for the CHP. In view of this overwhelming support, the presidium of the party convention decided to