Former Turkish FM Mümtaz Soysal laid to rest
Former Foreign Minister Mümtaz Soysal, who passed away at the age of 90 on Nov. 11, was laid to rest in Istanbul on Nov. 13.
Many politicians, scholars and chairmen of Turkish football clubs attended the funeral at the Zincirlikaya Mosque to pay their respect to the late scholar who rose to prominence as an expert on the Turkish constitution.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu and Muharrem İnce, the CHP’s candidate for the June 24, 2018 presidential elections, participated in the funeral prayers.
“I have learnt about the passing of Prof. Dr. Mümtaz Soysal, one of our foreign ministers and a valuable scientist, with great sorrow. I wish Allah’s mercy upon him and offer my condolences to his grieved family and friends,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu wrote in a tweet, on Nov. 11.
Turkish parliamentary Speaker Mustafa Şentop and Istanbul provincial Gov. Ali Yerlikaya sent wreaths to the ceremony, offering their condolences.
Galatasaray and Beşiktaş chairmen Mustafa Cengiz and Ahmet Nur Çebi, respectively, were also at the funeral ceremony.
Soysal had been undergoing treatment for various ailments, according to press reports.
Born in 1929, Soysal was one of the most prominent figures in Turkish constitutional law.
A graduate of the venerable Galatasaray High School in Istanbul, Soysal continued his studies in political science and law at Ankara University in the nation’s capital.
A longtime constitutional law professor at Ankara University, Soysal also served as head of the Mediterranean Community Research Council, vice chair of Amnesty International and a constitutional consultant for the Turkish Cyprus in negotiations over the divided island.
In 1978, he was the first-ever recipient of the UNESCO Prize for Human Rights Education.
In 1971, he was detained and arrested by the Ankara Martial Law Command and also worked as a columnist for various newspapers.
A member of the Turkish Parliament from 1991 to 1999 under two different parties, in 1994, he served as foreign minister for several months under the government of Prime Minister Tansu Çiller.