The first woman prime minister of Turkey. She graduated from Robert College in Istanbul in 1969. She has a PhD from Yale University in International Economics. She married Ozer Ucuran, who adopted his wife’s surname. He was the general manager of Istanbul Bank.
Ciller Tansu lectured at Turkish and US universities. She became a diciple of Suleiman Demirel, leader of the True Path Party in the early 1990s. Her first post was as minister for economic affairs and later minister for foreign affairs. When Demirel was elected President of Turkey, Tansu became the Party’s leader and prime minister.
After the 1995 elections, in which the Refah Party obtained a majority, Ciller became deputy prime minister under Erbakan.
When Erbakan resigned under pressure of the commercial and military elites in mid-1997, President Demirel did not call on Ciller to serve as prime minister. This move was to prevent the alliance of Ciller’s party with the Refah.