Justice Party (Turkey)

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Justice Party

Adalet Partisi
President Süleyman Demirel
General Secretary Nuri Kemal Bayar
Founder Ragıp Gümüşpala
FoundedFebruary 11, 1961 (1961-02-11)
DissolvedAugust 18, 1981 (1981-08-18)
Preceded by Democratic Party
Succeeded by True Path Party
Motherland Party
Headquarters Ankara, Turkey
Ideology Liberal conservatism
Political position Centre-right
Colours         Red, White

The Justice Party (Adalet Partisi, AP) was a Turkish political party prominent in the 1960s and 1970s. A descendant of the Democrat Party, the AP was dominated by Süleyman Demirel, who served six times as prime minister, and was in office at the time of the military coup on September 12, 1980. Along with all other political parties in Turkey, the Justice Party was suppressed in the immediate aftermath of the coup. It was subsequently re-established as the True Path Party in 1983.

Turkey Republic in Western Asia

Turkey, officially the Republic of Turkey, is a transcontinental country located mainly in Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe. East Thrace, located in Europe, is separated from Anatolia by the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorous strait and the Dardanelles. Turkey is bordered by Greece and Bulgaria to its northwest; Georgia to its northeast; Armenia, the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan and Iran to the east; and Iraq and Syria to the south. Istanbul is the largest city, but more central Ankara is the capital. Approximately 70 to 80 per cent of the country's citizens identify as Turkish. Kurds are the largest minority; the size of the Kurdish population is a subject of dispute with estimates placing the figure at anywhere from 12 to 25 per cent of the population.

A political party is an organized group of people, often with common views, who come together to contest elections and hold power in the government. The party agrees on some proposed policies and programmes, with a view to promoting the collective good or furthering their supporters' interests.

Süleyman Demirel former president and prime minister of Turkey

Sami Süleyman Gündoğdu Demirel was a Turkish statesman and political leader who served as the 9th President of Turkey from 1993 to 2000. He previously served as the Prime Minister of Turkey seven times between the years 1965 and 1993. He was the leader of the Justice Party (AP) from 1964 to 1980 and the leader of the True Path Party (DYP) from 1987 to 1993.


Justice Party was a liberal conservative party. It advocated Kemalist principles, parliamentary democracy and a market economy. It strongly supported membership in NATO and close relations with the United States.

Kemalism ideology

Kemalism, also known as Atatürkism, or the Six Arrows, is the founding ideology of the Republic of Turkey. Kemalism, as it was implemented by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, was defined by sweeping political, social, cultural and religious reforms designed to separate the new Turkish state from its Ottoman predecessor and embrace a Westernized way of living, including the establishment of democracy, secularism, state support of the sciences and free education, many of which were first introduced to Turkey during Atatürk's presidency in his reforms.

NATO Intergovernmental military alliance of Western states

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 29 North American and European countries. The organization implements the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949. NATO constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its independent member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party. NATO's Headquarters are located in Haren, Brussels, Belgium, while the headquarters of Allied Command Operations is near Mons, Belgium.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.



With the 1960 coup d'état, Turkey's generals disbanded the formerly dominant Democrat Party. They could not, however, entirely dismantle the vast grassroots organization that this party had left behind. Democrat Party officials were based in many of the squatter neighborhoods in Turkey's larger cities, and would quickly incorporate newly arrived Anatolian migrants into the party's fold. [1] A number of parties soon emerged to reclaim this newly partyless Democrat voting bloc. The Justice Party was one of these neo-Democratic parties, first established by retired general Ragıp Gümüşpala in 1961. [2] It immediately adopted the galloping horse logo of the Democrat Party.

The 1960 Turkish coup d'état was the first coup d'état in the Republic of Turkey. The coup was staged by a group of 38 young Turkish military officers, acting outside the Staff Chiefs' chain of command. It was orchestrated by Alparslan Türkeş and ultimately led on May 27, 1960 by General Cemal Gürsel, against the democratically-elected government of the Democrat Party. Alparslan Türkeş was a member of the junta.

A grassroots movement is one which uses the people in a given district, region, or community as the basis for a political or economic movement. Grassroots movements and organizations use collective action from the local level to effect change at the local, regional, national, or international level. Grassroots movements are associated with bottom-up, rather than top-down decision making, and are sometimes considered more natural or spontaneous than more traditional power structures. Grassroots movements, using self-organization, encourage community members to contribute by taking responsibility and action for their community. Grassroots movements utilize a variety of strategies from fundraising and registering voters, to simply encouraging political conversation. Goals of specific movements vary and change, but the movements are consistent in their focus on increasing mass participation in politics. These political movements may begin as small and at the local level, but grassroots politics as Cornel West contends are necessary in shaping progressive politics as they bring public attention to regional political concerns.

Anatolia Asian part of Turkey

Anatolia, also known as Asia Minor, Asian Turkey, the Anatolian peninsula or the Anatolian plateau, is the westernmost protrusion of Asia, which makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region is bounded by the Black Sea to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, the Armenian Highlands to the east and the Aegean Sea to the west. The Sea of Marmara forms a connection between the Black and Aegean Seas through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits and separates Anatolia from Thrace on the European mainland.

The Justice Party quickly proved the most successful in consolidating the existing Democrat Party provincial organizations, particularly in the western regions of the country. The New Turkey Party, however, was initially more successful in eastern Turkey. [3] In the 1961 elections, the two post-Democrat parties combined to win a very impressive 48.5% of the vote, 34.8% of which went to the Justice Party alone. [4] The ruling generals, however, would not allow for a neo-Democrat government to replace the old order they had brought down. Instead they asked İsmet İnönü, whose Republican People's Party was the largest party with 36.7% of the vote, to form a coalition government.

New Turkey Party (1961) defunct political party

New Turkey Parti was a former Turkish political party

İsmet İnönü Turkish general and statesman

Mustafa İsmet İnönü was a Turkish general and statesman, who served as the second President of Turkey from 10 November 1938 to 27 May 1950, when his Republican People's Party was defeated in Turkey's second free elections. He also served as the first Chief of the General Staff from 1922 to 1924, and as the first Prime Minister after the declaration of the Republic, serving three terms: from 1923 to 1924, 1925 to 1937, and 1961 to 1965. As President, he was granted the official title of "Millî Şef".

Republican Peoples Party (Turkey) social-democratic political party in Turkey

The Republican People's Party is a Kemalist and social-democratic political party in Turkey. It is the oldest political party in the country, and is currently the main opposition in the Grand National Assembly. The CHP describes itself as "a modern social democratic party, which is faithful to the founding principles and values of the Republic of Turkey". The party is cited as "the founding party of modern Turkey". Its logo consists of the Six Arrows, which represent the foundational principles of Kemalism: republicanism, nationalism, statism, populism, laicism, and reformism.


İnönü's various coalitions would form the government until 1964, but in the meantime the Justice Party continued to grow, steadily gaining votes at the expense of the smaller post-Democrat parties. [5] The Republican People's Party eventual turn towards left of centre would also help to give the military a somewhat more favorable view of the Justice Party. [6] In this political climate, the 1963 nationwide local elections gained increased importance, and eventually came to be seen as a political referendum on the newly established parties. [7] The Justice Party ultimately emerged as a triumphant winner, winning around 46% of the vote and establishing itself as the most popular party in the country. [8]

With its popular appeal well established, the Justice Party turned to issues of leadership. Gümüşpala died in 1964, and questions soon emerged over who would succeed him as the party's leader. [9] Sadettin Bilgiç, a doctor by training, had become acting party president following Gümüşpala's death, and initially emerged as the favorite for the position. But the Turkish press tarnished Bilgiç's reputation, accusing him of political and religious conservatism. [10] Party leaders soon started to worry that he would ruin the party's image with the Turkish intelligentsia and, more importantly, the army. Indeed, the military head of state, Cemal Gürsel, began pushing for a more progressive candidate to take charge - Süleyman Demirel.

Cemal Gürsel Turkish general and politician

Cemal Gürsel was a Turkish army officer, and the fourth President of Turkey.

Demirel came from a modest village background, and climbed up the social latter by the way of his education. He had studied in the United States as an Eisenhower fellow and then worked in a US multinational construction company. [11] He appealed to the party's base of newly urbanized rural migrants, who could identify with his modest beginnings and status as a self-made man. [12] At the Justice Party's national convention in December 1964, Demirel ultimately defeated Bilgiç for the party's general-president post. [13]

Once firmly in charge, Demirel began his assault on İnönü's fragile coalition, making sure it failed to win a vote of confidence in early 1965. Parliamentary bickering finally led to the triumphant 1965 elections, in which the Justice Party received nearly 53% of the vote and promptly formed a majority government with 240 seats. [14] The party had achieved this result by appealing to small-holder peasants emerging from poverty, small commercial and industrial groups as well as the newly rich farmers; it performed most strongly in the relatively rich western provinces of Turkey, along the Aegean coast and in Thrace. This Justice Party victory was simultaneously a historical loss for the Republican People's Party, which suffered the worst defeat in its political history by winning only 134 seats and 29% of the vote. [15]


The Justice Party's good fortune, however, did not last for long. The small Anatolian enterprises that had formed a key part of the party's constituency couldn't compete with the Istanbul area's large, modern corporations. These entrepreneurs felt betrayed, and defected from the Justice Party to smaller rightist alternatives. [16] Meanwhile, the country suffered through increasing socio-political strife, as conflicts between leftist and rightist groups turned increasingly violent. Since Demirel symbolized a pro-Western capitalist current in the Turkish establishment, he became an easy target for both the far left and the religious right. [17] The party was still able to win the 1969 elections, carrying 256 seats with around 46.5% of the vote, but the overall situation grew increasingly chaotic. The near-constant street violence escalated, threatening the Turkish economy and ultimately provoking the military to intervene once again in 1971. [18] With the power once again firmly in its hands, the military forced Demirel to resign.

The Justice Party was not able to win the elections held in 1973 and 1977, but Demirel was able to serve as prime minister three more times between 1975 and 1980, albeit with coalition partners. On September 12, 1980, the military once again staged a coup d'état, and this time banned Demirel and the Justice Party from the country's politics. After an extended pause, the party eventually reemerged as the True Path Party, complete with the galloping horse logo, in 1983.

Grand National Assembly of Turkey
1961 3,527,43534.82ndnew
1965 4,921,23552.91stIncrease2.svg 82
1969 4,229,71246.51stIncrease2.svg 16
1973 3,197,89729.82ndDecrease2.svg 107
1977 5,468,20236.92ndIncrease2.svg 40

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  2. Ahmad, 128
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  6. Dodd, 21
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  8. Ahmad, 127
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