Süleyman Demirel, whom our university is proud of being named after him, was born in İslamköy, a village of Atabey district in Isparta, on November 1, 1924. Upon completion of his elementary school education in his hometown, he attended middle school and high school in Isparta and Afyon respectively. He graduated from the faculty of civil engineering at the Istanbul Technical University in February, 1949. In the same year, he began to work in the state department for electrical power planning. He undertook postgraduate studies on irrigation, electrical technologies and dam construction in the United States first in 1949-1950, then in 1954-1955.
In 1954, Demirel was appointed Head of Department of Dams and served as director general of the State Hydraulic Works (DSİ) in 1955. He worked as a free-lance engineer and advisor between 1962-1964. During this period, he worked as a lecturer of hydraulic engineering at Middle East Technical University.
His political career started with his election to the executive board of Adalet Partisi (AP; the Justice Party). After he had been elected Chairman of this party on November 28, 1964, he facilitated the formation of a coalition government that ruled between February and October 1965, in which he served as Deputy Prime Minister.
Under his leadership, AP won an unprecedented majority of the votes in the elections of October 10, 1965 and formed a majority government. As deputy from Isparta, Demirel became Turkey's 12th Prime Minister and ruled the country for four years. In the next elections on October 10, 1969, his party was the sole winner by a landslide once again. So, he formed the 31st government of Turkish Republic but then he had to form 32nd government of TR due to a crisis within the party. He resigned after the military memorandum of March 12, 1971. Between 1971 and 1980 he served as prime minister for three more times, albeit with coalition partners, during 1975-1977, 1977-1978 and 1979-1980, respectively.
Following the coup d'etat of September 12, 1980, he was banned from involvement in active politics for seven years. The September 6, 1987 referendum allowed him to return to active politics and Demirel was elected chairman at the extraordinary convention of the True Path Party (DYP). He was re-elected deputy of Isparta at the elections of November 29, 1987. Following the elections of October 20, 1991, he became prime minister once again in a coalition government (49th government of TR) with the Social Democratic People's Party.
During his service for the development and industrialization of the country as a director general at the age of 30 and a political party chairman and the youngest Turkish prime minister at the age of 40, his tenure was shorter than only İsmet İnönü's. He served as deputy of Isparta for six terms, was banned from politics for seven years, resigned six times and formed governments seven times.
He became the 9th president on May 16, 1993, elected by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. He served as President until May 16, 2000.