Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, Turkish professor, academic, diplomat and author. İhsanoğlu’s academic work has focused on Turkish culture, cultural exchanges between Islam and the West and the relationships between the Turkish and Arab worlds. He received, numerous awards for his contributions to the history of science and education and the order of merit.
He was chosen Secretary- General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)- the second largest international organization after the United Nations- and served between 2004 and 2014.
İhsanoğlu has been announced to be the joint candidate of the two opposition parties in the Turkish parliament: Republican People's Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) for the 2014 presidential election.
İhsanoğlu was born in Cairo on the 26th day of December 1943, with his roots from Yozgat in central Turkey. Upon graduating from the Egyptian Hıdiviye Secondary School, Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu studied at the Ain Shams University Science Faculty. During his studies, he worked in the National Cairo Library cataloging Turkish works. He graduated from the Science Faculty in 1966 and started his academic career at the Al-Azhar University. During his postgraduate studies at Al-Azhar University he did Turkish linguistics and literature tutoring at Ain Shams University.
Besides his works on History of Science, İhsanoğlu familiarized the Arabs with Turkish culture by translating the works of Turkish poets including Hamid, Tevfik Fikret, Mehmet Akif , Yahya Kemal, Necip Fazıl and Nazım Hikmet and worked on an anthology consisting of the short stories of Turkish authors (1970). He came to Ankara in 1970 and started lecturing at Ankara University. In 1972 he married pharmacist Füsun Bilgiç who is mother to his three children. After completing his doctorate at the Faculty of Sciences in 1974, he went to Exeter University in England to further his studies. In 1980 with the reference of OIC he was brought to the chair of the Islamic History, Arts and Culture Research Centre 9(IRCICA). He resumed his duty for 25 years establishing a grand library with Turkish and Islamic Culture archives. In 1984 he became professor at the Istanbul University Science Faculty. He is the founder of the department of History of Science at this university.
İhsanoğlu has been announced as the joint candidate of the two opposition parties in the Turkish parliament: Republican People's Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) for the 2014 presidential election.
A few of his publications include: ‘The West and Islam’ (1999), ‘A Glimpse into the Past’ (1987), ‘The Turks in Egypt and Their Cultural Heritage’.