Family Photograph

Spouse of President Abdullah Gül, First Lady Hayrünnisa Gül wholeheartedly believes that the family based upon compassion, tribute and solidarity is the primary element among the very values that hold the public together and carry them into the future.

She also believes that the greatest accomplishment in life is having a family whose members respect and stand by each other.

She treasures her family above all. She always corroborates her spouse and guides her children, preparing them for life.

The First Lady, attaching great importance to women in that they with their attributes as mothers can mould the family and the community as a whole, lends her support to the activities which she thinks will consolidate women and the family.

Believing in equality for all, especially children, and that they deserve to be treated with compassion and love, Mrs. Gül as a mother who feels responsible not only for her own children but also for all children across the world has devoted herself to a number of social responsibility projects.

She has engaged the Education Enables Project which aims to raise public awareness that disabled people can be active and useful in every segment of society under her patronage. This project which is conducted with the cooperation of the state and NGOs, and with the voluntary corroboration of artists, celebrities, sportsmen, businessmen and the media, also aims to raise public awareness as to the fact that children with disabilities can receive education with others in the same schools and to provide educational institutions and the social environment with the necessary equipment and facilities. As part of the Education Enables Project launched in April 2009 with an introductory ceremony which was held at the Çankaya Presidential Palace, the 81 Governors of the country have visited more than 63,000 families that have disabled children and told them all about the amenities and educational opportunities the state provides. Besides this, 63 schools and 2, 242 special classrooms have been constructed and the number of the children with disabilities receiving education has risen by 144 %.

The First Lady as the patroness of the Education Enables Project delivered an address to the parliamentarians from 47 countries at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in October 7, 2010.

Mrs. Gül believes that accomplished teenagers should be supported as well and that successes in sports are as equally important as academic achievements. She corroborates successful students with financial difficulties through the 81 Stars from the 81 Provinces Project. As their godmother, the First Lady lends her corroboration for them in every way so that they can realize their dreams and achieve worldwide accomplishments.

Regular activities are held as part of the Talking Book Festival Project, which is also under First Lady Hayrünnisa Gül’s aegis, in order to raise public awareness about the advantages and joys of reading and to especially encourage children and the young to acquire reading as a habit. Through these activities during which in particular men of literature, celebrities and role models read books aloud to children and which have been held in Istanbul, Şanlıurfa, Kayseri and Ordu so far, it is aimed to urge children to read more and to strengthen the existing bond between books and citizens from all walks of life.

Mrs. Gül has also taken the Stop Diabetes! Campaign under her aegis which aims at making diabetes an important agenda in daily life by creating awareness about the ways to avoid this illness throughout one’s life. It also aims to give people life-long education about healthy living, enhance people’s knowledge about diabetes, establish good nutritional habits, make exercise a part of life and decrease the burden on the national economy rising from the prospective treatment expenses.

Mrs. Gül also sets a premium on both the roles of NGOs and citizens in terms of sorting out social problems and the voluntary activities in this regard.

As per the necessities in child protection centers and orphanages within the body of the Ministry of Family and Social Policies, she lends her support for the We are Retired We are Volunteers Project for which retired teachers are expected to work voluntarily. The project aims to give momentum to the psychological, social, cultural and academic development of children under the protection of the state by bringing together teachers who want to play an active role in social life during their retirement years with these children. Attributing great importance to social mutuality and solidarity as one of the strongest dynamics that holds the Turkish nation together, First Lady Hayrünnisa Gül pays regular visits to families in need and families of martyrs and war veterans, trying to find permanent solutions for their problems.

The First Lady is of the opinion that cultural richness is the biggest legacy that can be left to the next generation and backs up the studies and efforts to preserve and cherish the traditional arts in their original forms.

Mrs. Gül is also interested in both the history and traditions of the many countries she has officially visited so far and in promoting the Turkish culture to people she meets. She believes that meeting different cultures and making new friends contribute to one’s life. This very approach of the First Lady has made her relationships with her counterparts permanent.

The First Lady was granted the Order of the Dutch Lion, the highest state medal of the Netherlands, on April 17, 2012.

Laying a great emphasis upon the importance of welcoming her foreign guests with the traditional Turkish hospitality, the First Lady has a special interest in making food as well, offering a number of traditional and local foods from the rich Turkish cuisine.

Born in Beşiktaş, Istanbul and graduating from Çemberlitaş School for Girls, First Lady Hayrünnisa Gül married Abdullah Gül in 1980. She is mother to Ahmet Münir (born 1983), Kübra (born 1985) and Mehmet Emre (born 1991) and grandmother to Zeynep Serra (born 2010) and Ayşe Sena (born 2014).