Turgut Özal was born in Malatya in 1927.After he graduated from the Department of Electrical Engineering at Istanbul Technical University in 1950, he was assigned to the Electric Works Study Administration (EIEI). Özal was sent to the US to receive education in economics of engineering. When he returned to Turkey he was promoted and resumed his work as Deputy General Director at the EIEI.
Turgut Özal completed his military service as a member in the Scientific Consultancy Board of the Ministry of National Defense and contributed to the establishment of the State Planning Organization (DPT). Meanwhile, he also taught at the Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ).
After working as a member of the Board of Technical Experts at the Prime Ministry, he served as the Undersecretary of the DPT between 1967 and 1971. In addition, he chaired the Economic Coordination Committee, the Monetary and Credit Committee as well as the RCD Coordination Committee and European Economic Community.
Turgut Özal worked as a consultant at the World Bank from 1971 to 1973. After returning to Turkey, he worked in various private companies and towards the end of 1979 he was assigned as the Undersecretary of the Prime Ministry. At the same time period, he was also responsible for the duties of the Undersecretary of the DPT by proxy. He assumed an essential role in the implementation of the economic program that is known as 24 January decisions aiming at liberalizing the Turkish economy.
Özal was appointed as the Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Economic Affairs in the government that was established in the aftermath of the 12 September 1980 military intervention. He resigned from this position in 1982 and established the Motherland Party (ANAP) in 1983. As a result of ANAP’s victory in the first elections following the military intervention in 1983, Turgut Özal established the government and became the 19th Prime Minister of Turkey. In the 1987 elections, his mandate was renewed and Özal served as the Prime Minister until he was nominated for President. On 31 October 1989 Turgut Özal was elected as the eighth President of Turkey by the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM).Özal remained in the office until his death on 17 April 1993 in Ankara.
Turgut Özal got married to Semra Yeyinmen in 1954 and had three children with her.