Erdal Inönü, honorary chair of the Social Democratic Populist Party (SHP), aged 81, was being treated for cancer for the last year. He was being given experimental treatment at a hospital in Houston, USA. Today he died.
President Abdullah Gül honoured him by saying, "The Turkish nation will always remember Erdal Inönü, who served this country as a politician, a statesman and a scientist, with respect." He talked about Inönü's "principled and honest understanding of politics, his funny personality and his modesty".
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan rememberd him as "a respectable personality" who served his country and nation".
According to the "Hürriyet" newspaper, Prof. Dr. Erdal Inönü went to hospital on 20 August 2007 because he had pneumonia. He recovered, but tests showed that his cancer, previously controlled, had advanced. It was decided to send him to a cancer clinic in the USA.
Erdal Inönü was the son of Turkey's first Prime Minister, Ismet Inönü. He was born in 1926. He graduated in Physics at Ankara University in 1947 and completed his PHD at California Tech University in 1951, after which he worked in the Physics department at Ankara University. From 1964 until 1974, he was professor at the Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) in Ankara. He was also rector of ODTÜ. In 1974 he moved on to Bosphorus University in Istanbul, where he worked until 1983.
When, after the military coup of 12 September 1980, political activities were allowed again in 1983, he became the founding chairperson of the Social Democracy Party (SODEP), which targeted the supporters of the closed-down Republican People's Party (CHP).
When SODEP and the Populist Party united, he became the chairperson of the Social Democratic Populist Party (SHP) and held this post until 1993. During the government of the True Path Party (DYP) and SHP coalition, he held the posts of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs (1991-1995).
From 1986 until 1995 he was MP in Izmir.
Since 1994, Inönü had been working at Sabanci University and at an institute of the Turkish Scientific and Technical Research Foundation, which he had helped found. (EÜ/AG)
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