Ozgur Ozil graduated from the Faculty of Pharmacy of Aegean University in Izmir in 1997 (Anatolia)

Ozgur Ozil is a Turkish pharmacist and politician, who was described as Kılıçdaroğlu's arm within the CHP and its policy implementer, until he was overthrown and headed the party's leadership in his place in the party's elections in 2023.

Birth and upbringing

Ozgur Ozil was born on September 21, 1974 in the northern Turkish province of Manisa to an immigrant family from the Balkans, and his father worked as a teacher in Turkish public schools.

Study and training

He studied primary school in his hometown of Manisa, then moved to Izmir Bornova School to study middle and high school, and began learning German with individual effort until he joined Manisa High School to study the last year of high school in German.

Ozil, who is fluent in English along with Turkish and German, graduated from the Faculty of Pharmacy of Egean University in Izmir in 1997.

Ozgur Ozil was elected Secretary General of the Turkish Pharmacists Union in 2007 (Anatolia)

Functions and responsibilities

He started working as a freelance pharmacist in 1999, and met his wife, pharmacist Didem Ozil, during his studies, opened their pharmacies together, and had their only daughter.

He served as the General Secretariat of the Manisa Chamber of Pharmacists for one term, and the presidency of the Chamber for two consecutive terms between 2001 and 2007, and served as the official spokesperson and president of the Federation of Academic Chambers in Manisa during the same time period, and received various awards through his social and environmental projects implemented during his presidency.

He was elected Secretary General of the Turkish Pharmacists Union in 2007 at the age of 33, and became the youngest Secretary General in the history of the Union, and was known for his skills in public speaking and delivery, as he participated in presenting 163 research papers, analytical presentation, and managing sessions in many conferences and seminars, and represented many Turkish delegations abroad during his career in the field of pharmacy.

He is also a member of several state institutions and international organizations such as the International Pharmaceutical Federation, the European Union Pharmacists Group, and the European Pharmaceutical Forum.

Political experience

The political career of Ozgur Ozil began at the age of 35, in the local elections in 2009 there were 3 CHP candidates for the state of Manisa, and party members agreed to choose someone other than Ozil due to his lack of political experience, but a heart attack hit the party's candidate, which opened the door to announcing his candidacy, but he did not get the majority of votes and was unable to win.

"I was expected to lose in that election, but it taught me politics, after only two years I became a member of parliament," Ozil said.

Ozgur Ozil received Uğur Mumcu Award for Best Turkish Politician in 2015 (Anatolia)

Ozgur Ozil was able to enter the Turkish parliament for the first time as a representative of the Republican People's Party (CHP) from Manisa in the Turkish general elections in 2011, and then returned to run in the municipal elections for a second time in the state of Manisa in 2014 but was not elected.

The Ataturk Thought Association and the Association of Contemporary Journalists awarded him the Uğur Mumcu Award for the best Turkish politician in 2015. His first political confrontation in the Turkish parliament was after May 13, 2014, when the Soma mine disaster killed 301 workers after a coal mine collapsed in Manisa state.

Turkish media circulated at the time a document that Ozil had submitted to parliament only two months before the incident, calling on the concerned government agencies to inspect the mine, and ensure its safety to ensure the lives of its workers, but his request was rejected at the time, and his speeches before and after the disaster received great attention.

Ozgur Özel remained in his parliamentary seat from Manisa state, and in November 2015 he was elected to the CHP Board of Directors at the 18th Extraordinary Congress, became Vice-Chairman of the Party's parliamentary bloc on 24 June 2015, and a member of the Health Committee of the Turkish Parliament and the CHP's Prison Investigation Committee.

Known for his continued opposition to the policies of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, he accused the party and its deputies of corruption and manipulating the interests of the Turkish people many times.

He rose to fame after the Turkish presidential and parliamentary elections in 2023, when he began to criticize Republican People's Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and his policies, especially after losing the presidential election against Erdogan.

He announced his candidacy for the presidency of the Republican People's Party (CHP) on September 15, 2023 at a press conference at the party's headquarters in Ankara, and won it after two rounds of elections on November 05, 2023, succeeding Kılıçdaroğlu with 812 votes out of 1366,<>.

Sarcastic and exciting situations

In his campaign for the 2019 municipal elections, Özgür Özel announced his intention to allocate a tractor for every farmer who votes for the People's Party, drawing ridicule from Turkish citizens inside and outside the party.

He also promised to distribute the central bank's gold to citizens if the CHP candidate wins the 2023 presidential elections, which opened the door to widespread criticism.

He criticized the courses for memorizing the Holy Quran, launched by the Turkish Presidency of Religious Affairs for children between (4-6) years old in December 2021, describing them as a "medieval mentality," saying, that these courses "do not benefit the republic and do not comply with the constitution."

Source : Al Jazeera + Agencies + Turkish Press