Multi-party period of the Republic of Turkey

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The multi-party period of the Republic of Turkey started with the establishment of the opposition Liberal Republican Party (Serbest Cumhuriyet Fırkası) by Ali Fethi Okyar in 1930 after President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk asked Okyar to establish the party as part of an attempted transition to multi-party democracy in Turkey. It was soon closed by the Republican People's Party government, however, when Atatürk found the party to be too influenced by Islamist-rooted reactionary elements.

Liberal Republican Party (Turkey) short-lived Turkish political party (1930)

The Liberal Republican Party was a political party founded by Fethi Okyar upon President Kemal Atatürk's request in the early years of the Turkish Republic.

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk Founder of the Republic of Turkey

Kemal Atatürk, commonly referred to as Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, was a Turkish field marshal (Mareşal), revolutionary statesman, author, and founder of the Republic of Turkey, serving as its first President from 1923 until his death in 1938. His leadership undertook sweeping liberal reforms, which modernized Turkey into a secular, industrial nation. Ideologically a secularist and nationalist, his policies and theories became known as Kemalism.

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

The Republican People's Party is a Kemalist, 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.

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In 1945, the National Development Party (Milli Kalkınma Partisi) was founded by Nuri Demirağ. The next year, the Democratic Party was established, and was elected in 1950. Very popular at first, the government, led by Prime Minister Adnan Menderes, relaxed the restrictions on public Islam and presided over a booming economy thanks to the Marshall Plan. In the later half of the decade, however, the government introduced censorship laws limiting dissent, while it became plagued by high inflation and a massive debt. The government also attempted to use the army to suppress its political rivals. The army revolted in the 1960 coup, ending the Menderes government, and soon thereafter returning rule to civilian administration.

National Development Party (Turkey)

The National Development Party was the first opposition party in the multi-party system in Turkey, established by Nuri Demirağ.

Nuri Demirağ Turkish businessman

Nuri Demirağ was an early Turkish industrialist. He was one of the first millionaires of the Turkish Republic.

Adnan Menderes Turkish politician and Prime Minister of Turkey

Adnan Menderes was a Turkish politician. He was the Turkish Prime Minister between 1950–1960. He was one of the founders of the Democrat Party (DP) in 1946, the fourth legal opposition party of Turkey. He was hanged by the military junta after the 1960 coup d'état, along with two other cabinet members, Fatin Rüştü Zorlu and Hasan Polatkan. He was the last Turkish political leader to be executed after a military coup and is also one of the three political leaders of the Turkish Republic to have had a mausoleum built in his honor.

1960 coup

The army balked at the government's instrumentalization of it, and on May 27, 1960, General Cemal Gürsel led a military coup d'état removing President Celal Bayar and Prime Minister Menderes. Menderes was executed with 2 ministers. In October 1961, the military junta returned the power to civilians. The political system that emerged in the wake of the 1960 coup was a fractured one, producing a series of unstable government coalitions in parliament. In 1965, however, the Justice Party of Süleyman Demirel won an absolute majority, which it increased in 1969. But there was increasing polarization between the Justice Party on the right and the Republican People's Party of İsmet İnönü and Bülent Ecevit on the left. In 1969, the right-wing Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) was founded by Alparslan Türkeş, a member of the Counter-Guerrilla, the Turkish branch of NATO's stay-behind army. MHP's youth organizations became known as the Grey Wolves.

Cemal Gürsel Turkish general and politician

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

Coup détat Sudden deposition of a government

A coup d'état, also known as a putsch (German:), a golpe de estado (Spanish/Portuguese), or simply as a coup, means the overthrow of an existing government; typically, this refers to an illegal, unconstitutional seizure of power by a dictator, the military, or a political faction.

A military dictatorship, also known as a military junta, is a dictatorship wherein the military exerts complete or substantial control over political authority, and a dictator is often a high ranked military officer.

1971 coup

A memorandum from the military on March 12, 1971 threatened intervention, forcing the Demirel government to resign. After a period of interim government, Bülent Ecevit became Prime Minister and governed in a coalition with the religious National Salvation Party.

The National Salvation Party was an Islamist political party in Turkey founded on 11 October 1972 as the successor of the banned National Order Party. The party was led by Necmettin Erbakan. The party grew more popular, in 1973 elections it gained 11.8% of votes and was granted 48 seats in the Turkish Grand National Assembly, in 1977 elections it gained 8.56% of votes and won 24 seats. In 1974 it formed the coalition government with the secularist Republican People's Party (CHP) of Bülent Ecevit. MSP was closed down after the 1980 military coup.

The fractured political scene and poor economy led to mounting violence between ultranationalists and communists in the streets of Turkey's cities. The NATO stay-behind army Counter-Guerrilla, related to the National Intelligence Organization (Turkish : Millî İstihbarat Teşkilâtı, MIT) engaged itself in domestic terror and killed hundreds. As in Italy, it engaged itself in a strategy of tension [1] The overall death-toll of the terror of the 1970s in estimated at 5,000, with right-wing and terrorism responsible for the most part. According to statistics published by the British Searchlight magazine , in 1978 there were 3,319 fascist attacks, in which 831 were killed and 3,121 wounded. [2]

Counter-Guerrilla

Counter-Guerrilla is the Turkish branch of Operation Gladio, a clandestine stay-behind anti-communist initiative backed by the United States as an expression of the Truman Doctrine. The founding goal of the operation was to erect a guerrilla force capable of countering a possible Soviet invasion. The goal was soon expanded to subverting communism in Turkey.

National Intelligence Organization (Turkey) intelligence agency

The National Intelligence Organization is the state intelligence agency of Turkey. It was established in 1965 to replace the National Security Service.

Turkish language Turkic language mainly spoken and used in Turkey

Turkish, also referred to as Istanbul Turkish, and sometimes known as Turkey Turkish, is the most widely spoken of the Turkic languages, with around ten to fifteen million native speakers in Southeast Europe and sixty to sixty-five million native speakers in Western Asia. Outside Turkey, significant smaller groups of speakers exist in Germany, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Northern Cyprus, Greece, the Caucasus, and other parts of Europe and Central Asia. Cyprus has requested that the European Union add Turkish as an official language, even though Turkey is not a member state.

Invasion of Cyprus

In 1974, the Greek military junta supported a coup in Cyprus led by extremist Greek Cypriots who were hostile to President of Cyprus, Archbishop Makarios, for his communist leanings. Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit invaded Cyprus on July 20, 1974 to counter the potential Greek coup.

Makarios III Archbishop and 1st President of Cyprus

Makarios III was a Greek Cypriot clergyman and politician, who served as the Archbishop and Primate of the autocephalous Church of Cyprus (1950–1977) and as the first President of Cyprus (1960–1977). In his three terms as president he survived four assassination attempts and a coup d'état. He is widely regarded by Greek Cypriots as the Father of the Nation or "Ethnarch".

Bülent Ecevit Former Prime Minister of Turkey

Mustafa Bülent Ecevit was a Turkish politician, poet, writer, scholar, and journalist, who served as the Prime Minister of Turkey four times between 1974 and 2002. He served as prime minister of Turkey in 1974, 1977, 1978–79, and 1999–2002. He was the leader of the Republican People's Party (CHP) between 1972 and 1980, and in 1989 he became the leader of the Democratic Left Party (DSP).

1980 coup

Out of the rubble of the previous political system came a single-party governance under Turgut Özal's Motherland Party (ANAP), which combined a globally oriented economic program with conservative social values. Under Özal, the economy boomed, converting towns like Gaziantep from small provincial capitals into mid-sized economic boomtowns.

Upon the retirement of President Kenan Evren, the leader of the 1980 coup, Özal was elected President, leaving parliament in the hands of Yıldırım Akbulut, and, in 1991, Mesut Yılmaz. Yılmaz redoubled Turkey's economic profile and renewed its orientation toward Europe. However, political instability followed, as the host of politicians banned from politics during the 1980 coup reentered politics, fracturing the vote, and the Motherland Party became increasingly corrupt. Özal died of a heart attack in 1993, and Süleyman Demirel was elected president.

1995 elections

The 1995 elections brought a short-lived coalition between Yılmaz's Motherland Party and the True Path Party, now with Tansu Çiller at the helm. Çiller then turned to the Welfare Party (RP), headed by Necmettin Erbakan, the former leader of the National Salvation Party, allowing Erbakan to enter the Prime Ministry. In 1997, the military, citing his government's support for religious policies deemed dangerous to Turkey's secular nature, sent a memorandum to Erbakan requesting that he resign, which he did. Shortly thereafter, the RP was banned and reborn as the Virtue Party (FP). A new government was formed by ANAP and Ecevit's Democratic Left Party (DSP) supported from the outside by the center-left Republican People's Party (CHP), led by Deniz Baykal. Under this government, Abdullah Öcalan, the leader of the Kurdish separatist organisation Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), was captured in 1999 in Kenya. Imprisoned in the prison-island of İmralı in the Marmara Sea, Öcalan was tried for treason and sentenced to death, later commuted to life imprisonment.

1999 elections

The DSP won big in the 1999 elections on the strength of the Öcalan abduction. Second place went, surprisingly, to the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). These two parties, alongside Yılmaz's ANAP formed a government. The popular perception was that it would fail; these were, after all, the inheritors of the two groups that were fighting so violently in the streets during the 1970s. However, the government was somewhat effective, if not harmonious, bringing about much-needed economic reform, instituting human rights legislation, and bringing Turkey ever closer to the European Union (EU).

Erdoğan government (2002 - present)

MP Şafak Pavey on the Islamisation of Turkey during the AKP government.

2002 elections

A series of economic shocks led to new elections in 2002, bringing into power the religiously conservative Justice and Development Party (AKP) of former mayor of Istanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The Erdoğan government started negotiations with the EU on October 3, 2005.

2007 elections

The AKP again won the 2007 elections, which followed the controversial August 2007 presidential election, during which AKP member Abdullah Gül was elected President at the third round. Recent developments in Iraq (explained under positions on terrorism and security), secular and religious concerns, the intervention of the military in political issues, relations with the EU, the United States, and the Muslim world were the main issues. The outcome of this election, which brought the Turkish and Kurdish ethnic/nationalist parties (MHP and DTP) into the parliament, will affect Turkey's bid for European Union membership, as Turkish perceptions of the current process (or lack thereof) affected the results and will continue to affect policy making in coming years.

Ergenekon

Alleged members of a clandestine group called Ergenekon were detained in 2008 as part of a long and complex trial. Members are accused of terrorism and plotting to overthrow the civilian government.

"Sledgehammer" plot

On 22 February 2010 more than 40 officers arrested and then were formally charged with attempting to overthrow the government with respect to so-called "Sledgehammer" plot. They include four admirals, a general and two colonels, some of them retired, including former commanders of the Turkish navy and air force (three days later, the former commanders of the navy and air force were released).

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History of the Republic of Turkey

The Republic of Turkey was created after the overthrow of Sultan Mehmet VI Vahdettin by the new Republican Parliament in 1922. This new regime delivered the coup de grâce to the Ottoman state which had been practically wiped away from the world stage following the First World War.

Ahmet Mesut Yılmaz is a Turkish politician. He was the leader of the Motherland Party from 1991 to 2002, and served three times as Prime Minister of Turkey. His first two prime-ministerial terms lasted just months, while the third ran from June 1997 to January 1999. The first was brought to an end by defeat in the 1991 elections, the latter two by the breakdown of Yılmaz' coalition governments.

The 1980 Turkish coup d'état, headed by Chief of the General Staff General Kenan Evren, was the third coup d'état in the history of the Republic, the previous having been the 1960 coup and the 1971 "Coup by Memorandum". During the Cold War era, 1970s Turkey experienced conflicts between Western-supported nationalist far right elements within the military and militant left-wing groups. To create a pretext for a decisive intervention, the Turkish military allowed these conflicts to escalate; Some say they actively adopted a strategy of tension. The violence abruptly stopped afterwards, and the coup was welcomed by some for restoring order. In total, 50 people were executed, 500,000 were arrested and hundreds died in prison.

Democrat Party (Turkey, current) political party in Turkey, current

The Democrat Party, abbreviated to DP, is a centre-right, conservative Turkish political party, established by Ahmet Nusret Tuna in 1983 as the True Path Party. It succeeded the historical Democrat Party and the Justice Party, two parties with similar ideologies. Their sister party is the centrist İyi Party.

Democratic Left Party (Turkey) social-democratic political party in Turkey

The Democratic Left Party is a Turkish political party, founded on 14 November 1985 by Rahşan Ecevit.

Motherland Party (Turkey) political party

The Motherland Party, is a political party in Turkey. It was founded in 1983 by Turgut Özal. It merged with the Democratic Party in October 2009, but in September 2011, the party was re-established. Its president is İbrahim Çelebi.

Deniz Baykal Turkish politician

Deniz Baykal is a Turkish politician at the Republican People's Party (CHP) who served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1995 to 1996. Having served in numerous government positions, Baykal led the CHP from 1992 to February 1995, from September 1995 to 1999 and again from 2000 to 2010. Between 2002 and 2010, he also served as the Leader of the Opposition by virtue of leading the second largest party in Parliament.

The 1997 military memorandum in Turkey refers to the decisions issued by the Turkish military leadership on a National Security Council meeting on 28 February 1997. This memorandum initiated the process that precipitated the resignation of Islamist prime minister Necmettin Erbakan of the Welfare Party, and the end of his coalition government.

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The 15th Turkish general election was held on 3 November 2002 following the collapse of the DSP-MHP-ANAP coalition led by Bülent Ecevit. It was the 15th general election to be held in Turkey. All 550 members of the Grand National Assembly were up for election.

1999 Turkish general election

Turkey's 14th general election was held on Sunday April 18, 1999 and was the first election in Turkish history to combine local, council and parliamentary elections on the same day. Bülent Ecevit's Democratic Left Party (DSP) had been soaring in popularity after the capture of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, emerged as the biggest party and swept the board in most of Turkey's western provinces. It failed, however, to obtain an overall majority, and did not do nearly as well in the eastern provinces.

1995 Turkish general election

Turkey's 13th general election was held on Sunday December 24, 1995, triggered by the newly re-established Republican People's Party's (CHP) withdrawal from a coalition with the True Path Party (DYP). The coalition had been in government for four years, having been formed by the Social Democratic Populist Party, the CHP's predecessor.

1987 Turkish general election

General elections were held in Turkey on 29 November 1987. This election is important for two events; the Military junta's restrictions on former politicians were lifted so they joined to the political scene again, whilst the Motherland Party retained its majority in the parliament by losing votes but gaining more seats, thanks to the electoral system of the country. Voter turnout was 93.3%.

Events in the year 1999 in Turkey

İsmet Sezgin Turkish politician

İsmet Sezgin was a Turkish politician who served as the Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey and Minister of National Defence from 1997 to 1999, as the Speaker of the Grand National Assembly in 1995, as the Minister of the Interior from 1991 to 1993, as the Minister of Finance from 1979 to 1980 and as the Minister of Youth and Sports from 1969 to 1971. Between 1999 and 2002, he served as the Leader of the Democrat Turkey Party, but did not contest any elections.

Hüsamettin Özkan is a former Turkish politician who served as the Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey between 1999 and 2002 in the 56th and 57th governments led by Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit. He was a Member of Parliament for İstanbul's second electoral district from the Democratic Left Party (DSP) from 1991 to 2002. He was also a Minister of State during the coalition government led by Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Mesut Yılmaz between 1997 and 1999.

References

  1. Ganser, Daniele. NATO's Secret Armies. Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe , Frank Cass, London, 2005.[ page needed ]
  2. Searchlight n°47, May 1979, p.6. Cited in Ganser, Daniele.[ page needed ]