By Baris Gundogan
ANKARA (AA) – Rahsan Ecevit, wife and closest confidant of late Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, died at hospital in Ankara late Friday. She was 97.
Ecevit died at the Gulhane Training and Research Hospital, where she had been receiving treatment since Dec. 26.
She died in the intensive care unit due to multiple organ failure at around 9.10 p.m. Turkish time (1810GMT).
She was an artist, writer, and politician Ecevit was also founder of the Democratic Left Party and Democratic Left People’s Party.
She was the daughter of parents who moved from Thessaloniki, Greece to Turkey’s Black Sea province of Giresun. She graduated from Istanbul’s prestigious Robert College where he met her late husband and married in 1946.
The love of the Ecevits was spoken as much as their political life. Also a poet, she wrote a poem titled, “We grow this love together” in which he explained her love to the former prime minister.
In the book, Rahsan Ecevit tells: A life with my Bulent, by Kadir Celik, Ecevit told of her marriage.
“Yes, we were happy. […] We had many troubled days, difficult days politically,” she added: “When it comes to our rallies, we have gone through great dangers. Guns were turned over us, stones were thrown, sticks were used, etc, but we were always happy,” she said.
Ecevit, along with Emrehan Halici, founded Bulent Ecevit Foundation after the passing of her husband.
In 2002, she wrote a novel, Love in Pulumur, which later adapted to the theater.
-Founded Democratic Left Party
Ecevit founded the Democratic Left Party in 1985 and became its leader. Bulent Ecevit who was banned from politics during that time, explained the party’s founding.
“We had an intense struggle for democracy during September 12 period,” Ecevit said, referring to the 1980 coup in Turkey.
“I was banned from politics during that time. Rahsan Ecevit led the founding of the political party. She took on the leadership in very difficult conditions,” he added.
In 2009, Ecevit resigned from her party and the following year she founded the Democratic Left People’s Party. In 2010, she announced support for Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP).