Sami Süleyman Gündoğdu Demirel, better known as Süleyman Demirel (born 1 November 1924), is a Turkish politician who served as prime minister seven times and was the 9th President of Turkey. When he won the 1965 general elections in Turkey, he became the second democratically elected leader in Turkish history, after Adnan Menderes who had won elections three times in the 50s, but was hanged after a military coup d'état in 1960.
Demirel was born in İslamköy, a village in Isparta. His roots were derived from an Albanian immigrant family who was emigrated from Balkans to Turkey. 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 school of civil engineering at the Istanbul Technical University in 1949. Demirel worked in the state department for electrical power planning in 1949. He undertook postgraduate studies on irrigation, electrical technologies and dam construction in the United States first in 1949-1950, then in 1954-1955. During the construction of the Seyhan Dam, Demirel worked as a project engineer and in 1954 was appointed Head of Department of Dams. As of 1955, he served as director general of the State Hydraulic Works (DSİ). In this capacity, Demirel was to supervise the construction of a multitude of dams, power plants, and irrigation facilities. After the 1960 coup d'état, he was drafted to the Turkish Army for compulsory military service. Upon completion of his military service, he worked as a freelance engineer and representative of Morrison Construction, a US company. During this period, he also worked as a part-time lecturer of hydraulic engineering at ODTÜ Middle East Technical University in Ankara.
He is married to Nazmiye Demirel. The couple have no children.