Turkish Polıtıcs Dersi 3. Ünite Özet

09.08.2022
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Political Parties And Elections

Açıköğretim ders notları öğrenciler tarafından ders çalışma esnasında hazırlanmakta olup diğer ders çalışacak öğrenciler için paylaşılmaktadır. Sizlerde hazırladığınız ders notlarını paylaşmak istiyorsanız bizlere iletebilirsiniz.

Açıköğretim derslerinden Turkish Polıtıcs Dersi 3. Ünite Özet için hazırlanan  ders çalışma dokümanına (ders özeti / sorularla öğrenelim) aşağıdan erişebilirsiniz. AÖF Ders Notları ile sınavlara çok daha etkili bir şekilde çalışabilirsiniz. Sınavlarınızda başarılar dileriz.

Political Parties And Elections

Introduction

It is impossible to imagine a democracy wsithout a party in the modern world. Gramsci describes political parties as ‘modern princes’ by making a reference to Machiavelli. This definition points out to the fact that, political parties are the collective heroes of modern times who set order. In the postmodern world, to what extent political parties maintain their ability to ‘set order’ is another question in mind. But even a negative answer to this question, would not eliminate the importance of political parties. It is impossible to imagine a democracy wsithout a party in the modern world.. The Ottoman political-social structure of the classical period (1450-1550) was built on a Platonicstate model based on the exact separation of rulers and the ruled. This model included a dual class structure that differed in terms of the law they were subject to, the values they belonged to, the education they received, and their place in the social hierarchy. On the one hand, the military (ruling) class, which includes the palace, army members, civil servants and education and judicial officials (ulema), on the other hand ‘reaya’ who expresses Muslim and nonMuslim nationals who pay taxes but do not have any role in state administration. The Ottoman political-social order was equipped with the means to preserve the absolute separation between these two classes. Platonic State Model: In Plato’s ideal state there are three classes corresponding to three social functions: executives, protectors and producers.

Second Constitutional Era (1908-1918)

The date of transition to constitutional-monarchy government in Turkey is 1876. The Ottoman constitution of 1876 which was an ephemeral experience, drafting the political-legal framework of First Constitutional Era did not bring a real sense of the parliamentary regime, yet, it has revealed, so to speak a ‘parliamentary’ pattern. First Constitutional Era which would end in 1878, is a period in which political parties have not emerged yet and no idea of choice based on universal and equal voting in a real sense was present. The legacy of Second Constitutional Era is a period where organised parties and competing emerged for the first time. It would not be wrong to state that the foundations of the party system in Turkey were laid down in this period. There is no doubt that the most important political organization after 1908, which would later turn into a political party, was The Committee of Union and Progress (İttihat ve Terakki Cemiyeti-İTC). The Committee marked a decade between 1908-1918. After meeting with Ahmet Rıza Bey who settled in Paris in 1899 and published Meşveret newspaper, the name of the committee was changed to the Committee of the Ottoman Union. While Sabahaddin wings lean to foreign support, Ahmet Rıza Bey and his supporters went against this thought. In 1906 Prince Sabahaddin and backings established a different organisation, the Private Enterprise and Decentralization Association. Ahmet Rıza Bey wing changed İTC’s name as Party of Union and Progress. The importance of this separation is being a core of political segregation continuity starting with Constitutional Monarchy until the republic.

The main organization that carried out the 1908 Revolution, which opened the way for the Constitutional Monarchy, is the Thessalonikibased Ottoman Freedom Society (Osmanlı Hürriyet Cemiyeti-OHC), which is based on military power. Among the founders of OHC founded in 1906, Talât and Rahmi Bey and İsmail Canbulat’s names stand out. The ideological label which is generally attributed to İTC, is Turkism. As Tanör states, Second Constitutional Monarchy, is the first and last movement of Turkish and non-Turkish Ottoman members in a democratic and liberal agreement (Tanör, 2012, p. 177).

The period between 1908-1913 is ‘supervisory power’ of İTC. İTC’s fundamental tools of the supervisory power were votes, its pressures on the Assembly and its role in the government changes.

The first political party formation in Turkey is shaped in the Second Constitutional period. Two opposing focal points can be mentioned in front of İTC as liberal and Islamists. The first opposition parties organized against the İTC are The Ottoman Liberals Party (Osmanlı Ahrar Fırkası-OAF) with liberal/conservative tendencies and The Moderate Liberal Party (Mutedil Hürriyetperveran FırkasıMHF). OAF is a party founded by the supporters of Prince Sabahaddin, based primarily on private enterprise and decentralization. The main opposition party of the Second Constitution Era was the Party for Freedom and Harmony (Hürriyet ve İtilaf FırkasıHİF) established on 21 November 1911. The first elections of the Second Constitutional Monarchy were held in 1908. The elections were made in accordance with The Provisional Act on the Election of Deputies, which was prepared by the 1st Constitutional Monarchy Council, but became effective 30 years later, after approval of the Sultan Abdülhamid

The legacy of Second Constitutional Era can be summarized at several points: (1) In the Second Constitutional Monarchy period, a fundamental change occurred in the conception of sovereignty. The foundations of the transition from monarchical domination to nation domination were laid down. (2) The exercise of power use based on the separation of the parliamentary regime and the powers is the legacy of this period. (3) Turkey experienced first multiparty political experience, political contestants and parties were institutionalized during this period. (4) The division of İTC-HİF also determined the line of political conflict of later periods. The division between the modernist-authoritarian line and the liberal-conservative line gained continuity. This division was reproduced at different levels in different periods. (5) The style of politics, based on the methods of oppression of İTC, led to a weak political tradition with its legal and normative dimension. An approach that reduced the politics to a power struggle that became settled. (6) Another negative aspect of the Second Constitutional Era was the politicization of the army. It is also the legacy of this period that the army was transformed into a pro-coupoverthrown political power, and beyond that it adopted this role.

Turkish War of Independence and First National Assembly (1920-1923)

Members of the Grand National Assembly (Büyük Millet Meclisi-BMM) convened on April 23, 1920, won the deputy status in three different ways. The first source was the last General Assembly of the Ottoman Empire. The second source was the new deputies elected according to the İntihabat Tebliği (Election Notice), which was published by Mustafa Kemal Pasha. The third source was the exiles in Malta. The 1920-1923 period of BMM is essentially a non-party assembly. Anatolia and Rumelia Defence of Rights Association was established in Sivas Congress, but forming political parties was decided to be discussed later after the National Struggle. Immediately after the opening of the Assembly there were small groups operating within the Assembly. The most well-known of these are ‘Tesanut Group’, ‘Istiklal Group’, ‘Müdafaa-i Hukuk Group’, ‘Halk Group’ and ‘Islahat Group’. Mustafa Kemal Pasha decided to establish a group that would act in the ‘party discipline’ under his leadership in order to eliminate this faction in the Assembly and to prevent the never-ending discussions. On May 10, 1921, with the establishment of the Anatolian and Rumelia Defence of Rights Group (the First Group) led by Mustafa Kemal Pasha, the first political division, in the First Assembly, emerged. The program of the group consisted of two articles: the establishment of the National Pact and the establishment of the state organization in accordance with the Constitution. The first group-second group separation is similar to the İTC-HİF separation in the Second Constitutional Era. The First Group adopts a radical-reformist line, while the Second Group is socially more conservative, politically more liberal (Özbudun, 2011, pp. 19-20). Hüseyin Avni (Ulaş), one of the founders of the Second Group, stated that he had a threearticle program during the foundation of the Group. These articles were: (1) Ensuring national unity and independence within the framework of the National Pact; (2) Correction and improvement of existing laws on the basis of national sovereignty and (3) the immunity and dignity of everyone’s law. The main debates on the Second Group can be gathered at the following points (Demirel, 2012, pp. 48-62).

  1. Duties and responsibilities of the ‘Cabinet of Executive Ministers’
  2. Legislative Supremacy
  3. Discussions around the Supreme Military Law
  4. A matter of nomination in deputy elections
  5. Debates on the impartiality of the Assembly Presidency Council
  6. Independence Tribunals
  7. Fundamental Rights and Liberties

One-Party Period (1923-1946)

The official establishment date of the People’s Party was 9 September, 1923. Mustafa Kemal, before the end of the first parliamentary period, had put forward the Halk Fırkası (People’s Party-HF) based on the will of public rhetoric. On April 8, 1923, he announced that the HF would be established through the partying of the Anatolia and Rumelia Defence of Rights Society. In 1923, Mustafa Kemal, who formed an independent Assembly in his election, was elected to the post of Chair on September 9, 1923, after the adoption of the party’s charter on 9 September. After the declaration of the Republic, Mustafa Kemal Pasha was elected as the President and İsmet (İnönü) Pasha HF was appointed as the Deputy Chairman. The party was renamed as Republican People’s Party (Cumhuriyet Halk Fırkası-CHF) in 1924. From the establishment until the multiparty period transition (1923- 1946) CHF has maintained its character as a one-party of Turkey and has been the hallmark of this era.

During the one-party period, there are two short-lived parties who claim to represent the districts in front of CHF, the representative of the ‘centre’. One of them is TpCF which emerged from the division within the National Struggle squad. The president of the party established in November 1924, Kâzım Karabekir Pasha, the second presidents Adnan (Adıvar) Bey and Rauf (Orbay) Bey, and the general secretary Ali Fuat (Cebesoy) Pasha. These names are comrade in arms who fought by the side of Mustafa Kemal Pasha during the National Struggle. In the party program, the ideological basis of the TpCF is expressed in terms of (liberalism) and National Sovereignty (democracy). In addition, the Party is thoughtful and respectful to ideas and religious beliefs, and it is desirable to adopt the principle of decentralized management. The second party of the period is the Liberal Republican Party (Serbest Cumhuriyet FırkasıSCF). By 1930, Turkey’s economic problems were aggravated by the impact of the Great Depression of 1929. Under these circumstances, at the request of Mustafa Kemal on August 12, 1930, the SCF was established by his close friend Fethi (Okyar) Bey. The SCF’s criticism of the CHF government has been divided into two points: Abuses caused by the railroad policy, and procurement of abuses by the state.

Five general elections were held in 1927, 1931, 1935, 1939 and 1943 during the one party Period. These are twograde and political competition-free elections. The 1924 Constitution has not introduced a new electoral system, the twodegree election method taken from the Second Constitutional Monarchy remained in force until the 1946 elections.

Multi-Party Period (1946-1960)

Democrat Party (Demokrat Parti-DP), which came to power at 14 May 1950 elections, is not a party that gave direction to Turkish politics during its 10-year rule. DP is a party that goes beyond the period of its rule and continues its effects even after it was closed by the military coup on 27 May, 1960. DP and its leader Menderes are an important basis for legitimacy for the liberal-conservative centre-right politics which has the potential support of roughly two-thirds of the people in Turkey.. In fact, the first party established in the process of transition to multi-party life was not DP but Nuri Demirağ’s National Development Party. The party, founded on 18 July, 1945, failed to achieve political success and was soon wiped out from political life. In this sense, the real step towards transition to multi-party life was the establishment of DP.

Since its establishment, DP insistently asked for a change in the election law. This amendment which significantly met the demands of DP, was made on 16 February, 1950. According to the new election law, the elections would be held in a single degree with the principle of general and equal voting, confidential vote, open counting and judicial guarantee would be provided. Despite the DP’s objection, it was adopted to make the elections according to the list majority system.

The list majority system: It is an election method that is far away from representation justice. Majority methods are mainly applied on the basis of the narrow region. The narrow zone refers to election of a deputy from each electoral district. Majority systems can be built on a simple or qualified majority. Majority systems requiring a qualified majority to be elected have two rounds; if simple majority is enough, election is completed with one round. 1950-60 list majority system applied in Turkey is both broad zone (more than one candidate is elected from each electoral district, calculated according to the population) and is based on a simple majority. The list of the party which gets most votes in each electoral district, is elected. Therefore, there is an imbalance between the votes the parties got and the rates of representation in the parliament. Depending on excessive or incomplete representations, there are artificial majorities in the parliament.

1950 elections were held with a high turnout of %89. DP which took % 52.7of the votes, had 415 deputies; CHP which received %39.4 of the votes, was able to have 69 deputies. The sharing of %90 of the total votes between these two parties was also a harbinger of a two party system, that would last ten years. In 1950, the people for the first time made the change of power through free elections. This democratic, bloodless transition is also called ‘White Revolution’. How can DP’s public support gained in 1950, be explained? Some authors try to explain this support on a class basis. The class that carried DP to power, according to some is the commercial bourgeoisie, according to some is the peers of big landowners and the villagers according to others.

The DP period is a period in which economic development and urbanization, and thus social differentiation have accelerated, but on the other hand, a period in which the tension in power opposition relations could not have been reduced.

The elections of 1954 resulted with the final victory of the DP. In the 1957 elections, the DP lost about 10 percent from the previous elections due to the deteriorating economic conditions. In this election, DP remained at %47.9 while CHP increased to %41.1. After this election, the opposition toughened its stance against power alleging that DP has fallen to minority. The government chose to answer this claim by establishing the Homeland Front. The Homeland Front (Vatan Cephesi) is an attempt to establish a political front founded by the DP against the cooperating opposition after the 1957 elections, which has no legal characteristic. The practise was the radio broadcasting of the new joiners to the Homeland Front on the daily basis.

The Period of 1960-1980

DP and its social extensions were excluded in the preparation of the 1961 Constitution. Those who prepared the constitution were rather those who saw the DP period as a ‘majority dictatorship’ or as a ‘counter-revolution’. Therefore, the centristright governments between 1960-80 remained at a distance from the 1961 Constitution and did not make any serious objections to the constitutional interventions made after the 1971 Memorandum. The 1961 Constitution has always been introduced as a ‘progressive’ text by its supporters. The most commonly used reason to justify this qualification, is putting of economic and social rights into constitution, which were not in our previous constitutional system, and the institutionalization of social rights in favour of working people at the constitutional level. The essence of ‘27 May Regime’ is the monitoring of the level of social demands taken to the politics. Another reflection of the reaction to the previous period is the new electoral system. In order to prevent the formation of artificial majority in the parliament, the proportional representation system has been adopted since the 1961 elections.

The party that closed after the 1960 coup was DP. After the coup, the suspended activities of other 74 Political Parties and Elections parties (CHP and CKMP) were released on 29 September 1960. The main issue after the coup was, who would fill the DP’s vacancy. The two biggest candidates were, Justice Party (Adalet Partisi-AP) under the presidency of Ragıp Gümüşpala and the New Turkey Party under the presidency of Ekrem Alican. Both parties had a liberal program and seeked to fill the gap that the DP had left. The 1961 election is a complete disappointment for both CHP and for the 27 May supporters. However, a government that is a continuation of DP could not be allowed after the coup. The CHPAP coalition government was established under these conditions.

Since the 1965 elections, it has been seen that functional divisions that exceed the centre periphery division started to be seen in the Turkish party system. AP, which proved to be the continuation of the DP and was perceived as the party of the ‘periphery’, succeeded to come to power alone in the 1965 elections in which the ‘national balance system’ was implemented, and in 1969 elections in which the d’Hondt system without election threshold was implemented. CHP entered as the ‘left of centre’ in the 1965 elections. When Süleyman Demirel led an AP formed government alone in 1969 and obtained enough majority in parliament, its failure to pass the budget through the Assembly in 1970, moved Turkey to a new crisis, in which one of the sides was the army. On March 12, 1971, the upper army gave a memorandum to the government. Demirel’s resignation, and his indication that the memorandum had no place in the rule of law, started the process of an interim regime until the elections of 14 October 1973. In this process, four interim regime governments were established, the prime ministers of two of which were Nihat Erim and the other two, Ferit Melen and Naim Talu.

The period from 1973 till the 12 September 1980 coup, was marked by political instability, government crises and increasingly violent social events. In the three years from the 1977 election to the military coup, four governments served in total Period, firstly The Nationalist Front Government II (APMSP-MHP), then established with the transfer of deputies Ecevit Government II and, finally, a minority government were established under the presidency of Demirel until the 1980 Revolution.

Post-80 Parties and Elections

With the military coup of 12 September 1980, the political regime was restored, and progress was made as a reaction to the negativity of the previous period. Two instruments were used to prevent government crises and stop fragmentation in the political party system. The first is the protection of the proportional representation system by the electoral law, but the introduction of a %10 country-wide electoral threshold. This arrangement was intended to keep small parties, as well as parties deemed ‘out of system’, out of parliament. With the %10 electoral threshold, the current proportional representation system was expected to produce similar results to the majority systems. The second instrument was to close all political parties after the coup and to allow only three parties to enter the elections held in 1983. Three parties were allowed to participate in the 1983 elections. These were the Nationalist Democracy Party (Milliyetçi Demokrasi Partisi MDP) led by Retired General Turgut Sunalp, The Populist Party (Halkçı Parti-HP) led by Necdet Calp, who also served as principal clerk to İnonü, and the Motherland Party (Anavatan Partisi-ANAP) led by Turgut Özal, who served as the minister responsible for the economy in the post-coup government. In the 1987 elections, ANAP, which lost a considerable number of votes and declined to 36.3%, was able to obtain a majority to form a government because only three parties could enter the parliament. From this election onwards, the signs of returning to the order of parties before September 12 began to emerge. The MDP was wiped out of the political scene, and the Social Democrat People’s Party (Sosyal Demokrat Halkçı Parti-SHP) emerged when HP merged with the Social Democratic Party (Sosyal Demokrat PartiSODEP). SHP became the second party with % 24.8 in the 1987 elections, and the True Path Party, which emerged as the continuation of the AP, entered third place with 19.1%.

The economic crisis of 1994, a military intervention attributed to the title ‘post-modern’ in February 1997 and the rising PKK terrorism marked the 90s. In this period, the parties of the MNP-MSP tradition (National OpinionMilli Görüş) and the parties that prioritised the representation of Kurds were closed many times.

Another important development in the 90s was the involvement of the parties which were predominantly elected from the East and Southeast, came out with the claim of carrying the demands of the Kurds to politics. The first party of this tradition is the People’s Labour Party (HEP), which was established in 1990. This party, which won 11 deputies from the SHP lists in the 1991 elections, was closed by the Constitutional Court in 1993. This line continued with the Democracy Party (Demokrasi Partisi-DEP), the People’s Democracy Party (Halkın Demokrasi Partisi-HADEP), the Democratic People’s Party (Demokratik Halk Partisi-DEHAP), the Democratic Society Party (Demokratik Toplum Partisi-DTP) and the Peace and Democracy Party (Barış ve Demokrasi PartisiBDP). All of these parties, except the BDP, were closed down.

There are two structural problems that led the 90s to the crisis and weaken the parties need to be dealt with. The first issue is ‘central policy’ which was established on 27 May, which was reinforced after 12 September and turned into a kind of political instability in the 1990s. The second point is the post-modern transformation of the parties, which was intensified in the 90s. In the modern sense, the three main functions of political parties can be listed as follows: representation of socio-economic sectors whose interests and the notions of ‘good society’ are similar; to have an ideology or a view of ideas that legitimizes these interests and the idea of society; the ability to mobilize the socio-economic sectors that they represent in line with these interests and community project.

The party that passed the crisis of the 90s and ensured political stability turned out to be the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi-AK Party), which came to power after the 2001 economic crisis. The AK Party, which has been in power for 16 years, has dominant party appearance with the support of around 50% of the votes which it has made stable since the 2007 elections. After 2002, Turkey did not experience any promising change of power.

Parties and Electoral Systems in Turkey

In the Turkish political life, it is seen that the main determinant in the search and implementation of the electoral system is the reaction to the election system and its results. In this context, for a better understanding, take the elections in Turkey in three different phases. The periods between 1950-1960, 1960-1980 and 1980 include differences in terms of constitutional order, political / social conditions and electoral system preference. When the period of 1960-1980 is examined, it is seen that in the 1961 elections, the d’Hondt method with the threshold was applied. The system of national balance in the 1965 elections, and the classical d’Hondt system without threshold or barrage in the 1969, 1973 and 1977 elections were applied. The list majority system was implemented in the elections in the period of 1950-1960 in Turkey, it can be said that this system is the system that produces the most unfair results among the current electoral systems. The elections in this period have led to an ‘extreme’ representation in favour of the party that has received more votes.

Election systems implemented between 1960 and 1980 gave priority to the principle of justice and paved the way for the development of parties. In the second half of the 1960s, where social stability was relatively high, social stability was reflected in politics, and even in the elections of 1965 in which the national balance system was applied, which completely contradicted the principle of stability, the one-party government was able to emerge. The 1970s is a period when political stability deteriorated along with social stability and government crises intensified. After the military intervention of September 12, 1980, the electoral system was reorganized and the principle of stability became the main focus of the movement. In the 1970s, in response to the instability created by coalition governments, a double threshold proportional representation system was introduced. In the 1983 elections, the d’Hondt system, which includes both the countrywide election threshold (10%) and the electoral district threshold, has been implemented. In 1987 elections ‘quota candidacy’ and in 1991 elections ‘preferential voting’ was added to this system. Since the 1995 elections, the electoral district threshold was abolished and d’Hondt system with countrywide electoral threshold was implemented. However, the September 12 administration’s desire for stability was not fulfilled. While the disintegration of the party system gained momentum, from the 1987 elections to the 2002 elections, no party was able to win a single parliamentary majority. Especially from the 1990s onwards, the rapid collapse of the ‘central right’ has undermined the electoral system, which has been set up for two or three ‘big’ parties.

Why could a long-lasting and stable electoral system not be established in Turkey? The first and perhaps most important of the reasons is that Turkey, as a dynamic social structure and having an extension of social change, is also undergoing a rapid transformation of the political structure. The electoral system cannot keep up with the changing system of parties. For example, an electoral system suitable for the structure of parties with two large mass parties is beginning to produce negative results as the political party system evolves into a structure with many and close parties. The second reason is that there is no consensus between the social and political elites on the expectations of the elections and the objectives of the electoral system.

With the 2016 referendum, Turkey adopted the Presidential governmental system. The executive organ is no longer two-headed and the president of the executive committee is elected directly by the referendum. A qualified majority is required to be elected as president; therefore, the system is arranged in two rounds. If no candidate gets 50% + 1 of the votes in the first round, the two candidates who have the most votes are competing in the second round. The change of the government system showed its first effects on the party system in the June 24, 2018 elections.

Introduction

It is impossible to imagine a democracy wsithout a party in the modern world. Gramsci describes political parties as ‘modern princes’ by making a reference to Machiavelli. This definition points out to the fact that, political parties are the collective heroes of modern times who set order. In the postmodern world, to what extent political parties maintain their ability to ‘set order’ is another question in mind. But even a negative answer to this question, would not eliminate the importance of political parties. It is impossible to imagine a democracy wsithout a party in the modern world.. The Ottoman political-social structure of the classical period (1450-1550) was built on a Platonicstate model based on the exact separation of rulers and the ruled. This model included a dual class structure that differed in terms of the law they were subject to, the values they belonged to, the education they received, and their place in the social hierarchy. On the one hand, the military (ruling) class, which includes the palace, army members, civil servants and education and judicial officials (ulema), on the other hand ‘reaya’ who expresses Muslim and nonMuslim nationals who pay taxes but do not have any role in state administration. The Ottoman political-social order was equipped with the means to preserve the absolute separation between these two classes. Platonic State Model: In Plato’s ideal state there are three classes corresponding to three social functions: executives, protectors and producers.

Second Constitutional Era (1908-1918)

The date of transition to constitutional-monarchy government in Turkey is 1876. The Ottoman constitution of 1876 which was an ephemeral experience, drafting the political-legal framework of First Constitutional Era did not bring a real sense of the parliamentary regime, yet, it has revealed, so to speak a ‘parliamentary’ pattern. First Constitutional Era which would end in 1878, is a period in which political parties have not emerged yet and no idea of choice based on universal and equal voting in a real sense was present. The legacy of Second Constitutional Era is a period where organised parties and competing emerged for the first time. It would not be wrong to state that the foundations of the party system in Turkey were laid down in this period. There is no doubt that the most important political organization after 1908, which would later turn into a political party, was The Committee of Union and Progress (İttihat ve Terakki Cemiyeti-İTC). The Committee marked a decade between 1908-1918. After meeting with Ahmet Rıza Bey who settled in Paris in 1899 and published Meşveret newspaper, the name of the committee was changed to the Committee of the Ottoman Union. While Sabahaddin wings lean to foreign support, Ahmet Rıza Bey and his supporters went against this thought. In 1906 Prince Sabahaddin and backings established a different organisation, the Private Enterprise and Decentralization Association. Ahmet Rıza Bey wing changed İTC’s name as Party of Union and Progress. The importance of this separation is being a core of political segregation continuity starting with Constitutional Monarchy until the republic.

The main organization that carried out the 1908 Revolution, which opened the way for the Constitutional Monarchy, is the Thessalonikibased Ottoman Freedom Society (Osmanlı Hürriyet Cemiyeti-OHC), which is based on military power. Among the founders of OHC founded in 1906, Talât and Rahmi Bey and İsmail Canbulat’s names stand out. The ideological label which is generally attributed to İTC, is Turkism. As Tanör states, Second Constitutional Monarchy, is the first and last movement of Turkish and non-Turkish Ottoman members in a democratic and liberal agreement (Tanör, 2012, p. 177).

The period between 1908-1913 is ‘supervisory power’ of İTC. İTC’s fundamental tools of the supervisory power were votes, its pressures on the Assembly and its role in the government changes.

The first political party formation in Turkey is shaped in the Second Constitutional period. Two opposing focal points can be mentioned in front of İTC as liberal and Islamists. The first opposition parties organized against the İTC are The Ottoman Liberals Party (Osmanlı Ahrar Fırkası-OAF) with liberal/conservative tendencies and The Moderate Liberal Party (Mutedil Hürriyetperveran FırkasıMHF). OAF is a party founded by the supporters of Prince Sabahaddin, based primarily on private enterprise and decentralization. The main opposition party of the Second Constitution Era was the Party for Freedom and Harmony (Hürriyet ve İtilaf FırkasıHİF) established on 21 November 1911. The first elections of the Second Constitutional Monarchy were held in 1908. The elections were made in accordance with The Provisional Act on the Election of Deputies, which was prepared by the 1st Constitutional Monarchy Council, but became effective 30 years later, after approval of the Sultan Abdülhamid

The legacy of Second Constitutional Era can be summarized at several points: (1) In the Second Constitutional Monarchy period, a fundamental change occurred in the conception of sovereignty. The foundations of the transition from monarchical domination to nation domination were laid down. (2) The exercise of power use based on the separation of the parliamentary regime and the powers is the legacy of this period. (3) Turkey experienced first multiparty political experience, political contestants and parties were institutionalized during this period. (4) The division of İTC-HİF also determined the line of political conflict of later periods. The division between the modernist-authoritarian line and the liberal-conservative line gained continuity. This division was reproduced at different levels in different periods. (5) The style of politics, based on the methods of oppression of İTC, led to a weak political tradition with its legal and normative dimension. An approach that reduced the politics to a power struggle that became settled. (6) Another negative aspect of the Second Constitutional Era was the politicization of the army. It is also the legacy of this period that the army was transformed into a pro-coupoverthrown political power, and beyond that it adopted this role.

Turkish War of Independence and First National Assembly (1920-1923)

Members of the Grand National Assembly (Büyük Millet Meclisi-BMM) convened on April 23, 1920, won the deputy status in three different ways. The first source was the last General Assembly of the Ottoman Empire. The second source was the new deputies elected according to the İntihabat Tebliği (Election Notice), which was published by Mustafa Kemal Pasha. The third source was the exiles in Malta. The 1920-1923 period of BMM is essentially a non-party assembly. Anatolia and Rumelia Defence of Rights Association was established in Sivas Congress, but forming political parties was decided to be discussed later after the National Struggle. Immediately after the opening of the Assembly there were small groups operating within the Assembly. The most well-known of these are ‘Tesanut Group’, ‘Istiklal Group’, ‘Müdafaa-i Hukuk Group’, ‘Halk Group’ and ‘Islahat Group’. Mustafa Kemal Pasha decided to establish a group that would act in the ‘party discipline’ under his leadership in order to eliminate this faction in the Assembly and to prevent the never-ending discussions. On May 10, 1921, with the establishment of the Anatolian and Rumelia Defence of Rights Group (the First Group) led by Mustafa Kemal Pasha, the first political division, in the First Assembly, emerged. The program of the group consisted of two articles: the establishment of the National Pact and the establishment of the state organization in accordance with the Constitution. The first group-second group separation is similar to the İTC-HİF separation in the Second Constitutional Era. The First Group adopts a radical-reformist line, while the Second Group is socially more conservative, politically more liberal (Özbudun, 2011, pp. 19-20). Hüseyin Avni (Ulaş), one of the founders of the Second Group, stated that he had a threearticle program during the foundation of the Group. These articles were: (1) Ensuring national unity and independence within the framework of the National Pact; (2) Correction and improvement of existing laws on the basis of national sovereignty and (3) the immunity and dignity of everyone’s law. The main debates on the Second Group can be gathered at the following points (Demirel, 2012, pp. 48-62).

  1. Duties and responsibilities of the ‘Cabinet of Executive Ministers’
  2. Legislative Supremacy
  3. Discussions around the Supreme Military Law
  4. A matter of nomination in deputy elections
  5. Debates on the impartiality of the Assembly Presidency Council
  6. Independence Tribunals
  7. Fundamental Rights and Liberties

One-Party Period (1923-1946)

The official establishment date of the People’s Party was 9 September, 1923. Mustafa Kemal, before the end of the first parliamentary period, had put forward the Halk Fırkası (People’s Party-HF) based on the will of public rhetoric. On April 8, 1923, he announced that the HF would be established through the partying of the Anatolia and Rumelia Defence of Rights Society. In 1923, Mustafa Kemal, who formed an independent Assembly in his election, was elected to the post of Chair on September 9, 1923, after the adoption of the party’s charter on 9 September. After the declaration of the Republic, Mustafa Kemal Pasha was elected as the President and İsmet (İnönü) Pasha HF was appointed as the Deputy Chairman. The party was renamed as Republican People’s Party (Cumhuriyet Halk Fırkası-CHF) in 1924. From the establishment until the multiparty period transition (1923- 1946) CHF has maintained its character as a one-party of Turkey and has been the hallmark of this era.

During the one-party period, there are two short-lived parties who claim to represent the districts in front of CHF, the representative of the ‘centre’. One of them is TpCF which emerged from the division within the National Struggle squad. The president of the party established in November 1924, Kâzım Karabekir Pasha, the second presidents Adnan (Adıvar) Bey and Rauf (Orbay) Bey, and the general secretary Ali Fuat (Cebesoy) Pasha. These names are comrade in arms who fought by the side of Mustafa Kemal Pasha during the National Struggle. In the party program, the ideological basis of the TpCF is expressed in terms of (liberalism) and National Sovereignty (democracy). In addition, the Party is thoughtful and respectful to ideas and religious beliefs, and it is desirable to adopt the principle of decentralized management. The second party of the period is the Liberal Republican Party (Serbest Cumhuriyet FırkasıSCF). By 1930, Turkey’s economic problems were aggravated by the impact of the Great Depression of 1929. Under these circumstances, at the request of Mustafa Kemal on August 12, 1930, the SCF was established by his close friend Fethi (Okyar) Bey. The SCF’s criticism of the CHF government has been divided into two points: Abuses caused by the railroad policy, and procurement of abuses by the state.

Five general elections were held in 1927, 1931, 1935, 1939 and 1943 during the one party Period. These are twograde and political competition-free elections. The 1924 Constitution has not introduced a new electoral system, the twodegree election method taken from the Second Constitutional Monarchy remained in force until the 1946 elections.

Multi-Party Period (1946-1960)

Democrat Party (Demokrat Parti-DP), which came to power at 14 May 1950 elections, is not a party that gave direction to Turkish politics during its 10-year rule. DP is a party that goes beyond the period of its rule and continues its effects even after it was closed by the military coup on 27 May, 1960. DP and its leader Menderes are an important basis for legitimacy for the liberal-conservative centre-right politics which has the potential support of roughly two-thirds of the people in Turkey.. In fact, the first party established in the process of transition to multi-party life was not DP but Nuri Demirağ’s National Development Party. The party, founded on 18 July, 1945, failed to achieve political success and was soon wiped out from political life. In this sense, the real step towards transition to multi-party life was the establishment of DP.

Since its establishment, DP insistently asked for a change in the election law. This amendment which significantly met the demands of DP, was made on 16 February, 1950. According to the new election law, the elections would be held in a single degree with the principle of general and equal voting, confidential vote, open counting and judicial guarantee would be provided. Despite the DP’s objection, it was adopted to make the elections according to the list majority system.

The list majority system: It is an election method that is far away from representation justice. Majority methods are mainly applied on the basis of the narrow region. The narrow zone refers to election of a deputy from each electoral district. Majority systems can be built on a simple or qualified majority. Majority systems requiring a qualified majority to be elected have two rounds; if simple majority is enough, election is completed with one round. 1950-60 list majority system applied in Turkey is both broad zone (more than one candidate is elected from each electoral district, calculated according to the population) and is based on a simple majority. The list of the party which gets most votes in each electoral district, is elected. Therefore, there is an imbalance between the votes the parties got and the rates of representation in the parliament. Depending on excessive or incomplete representations, there are artificial majorities in the parliament.

1950 elections were held with a high turnout of %89. DP which took % 52.7of the votes, had 415 deputies; CHP which received %39.4 of the votes, was able to have 69 deputies. The sharing of %90 of the total votes between these two parties was also a harbinger of a two party system, that would last ten years. In 1950, the people for the first time made the change of power through free elections. This democratic, bloodless transition is also called ‘White Revolution’. How can DP’s public support gained in 1950, be explained? Some authors try to explain this support on a class basis. The class that carried DP to power, according to some is the commercial bourgeoisie, according to some is the peers of big landowners and the villagers according to others.

The DP period is a period in which economic development and urbanization, and thus social differentiation have accelerated, but on the other hand, a period in which the tension in power opposition relations could not have been reduced.

The elections of 1954 resulted with the final victory of the DP. In the 1957 elections, the DP lost about 10 percent from the previous elections due to the deteriorating economic conditions. In this election, DP remained at %47.9 while CHP increased to %41.1. After this election, the opposition toughened its stance against power alleging that DP has fallen to minority. The government chose to answer this claim by establishing the Homeland Front. The Homeland Front (Vatan Cephesi) is an attempt to establish a political front founded by the DP against the cooperating opposition after the 1957 elections, which has no legal characteristic. The practise was the radio broadcasting of the new joiners to the Homeland Front on the daily basis.

The Period of 1960-1980

DP and its social extensions were excluded in the preparation of the 1961 Constitution. Those who prepared the constitution were rather those who saw the DP period as a ‘majority dictatorship’ or as a ‘counter-revolution’. Therefore, the centristright governments between 1960-80 remained at a distance from the 1961 Constitution and did not make any serious objections to the constitutional interventions made after the 1971 Memorandum. The 1961 Constitution has always been introduced as a ‘progressive’ text by its supporters. The most commonly used reason to justify this qualification, is putting of economic and social rights into constitution, which were not in our previous constitutional system, and the institutionalization of social rights in favour of working people at the constitutional level. The essence of ‘27 May Regime’ is the monitoring of the level of social demands taken to the politics. Another reflection of the reaction to the previous period is the new electoral system. In order to prevent the formation of artificial majority in the parliament, the proportional representation system has been adopted since the 1961 elections.

The party that closed after the 1960 coup was DP. After the coup, the suspended activities of other 74 Political Parties and Elections parties (CHP and CKMP) were released on 29 September 1960. The main issue after the coup was, who would fill the DP’s vacancy. The two biggest candidates were, Justice Party (Adalet Partisi-AP) under the presidency of Ragıp Gümüşpala and the New Turkey Party under the presidency of Ekrem Alican. Both parties had a liberal program and seeked to fill the gap that the DP had left. The 1961 election is a complete disappointment for both CHP and for the 27 May supporters. However, a government that is a continuation of DP could not be allowed after the coup. The CHPAP coalition government was established under these conditions.

Since the 1965 elections, it has been seen that functional divisions that exceed the centre periphery division started to be seen in the Turkish party system. AP, which proved to be the continuation of the DP and was perceived as the party of the ‘periphery’, succeeded to come to power alone in the 1965 elections in which the ‘national balance system’ was implemented, and in 1969 elections in which the d’Hondt system without election threshold was implemented. CHP entered as the ‘left of centre’ in the 1965 elections. When Süleyman Demirel led an AP formed government alone in 1969 and obtained enough majority in parliament, its failure to pass the budget through the Assembly in 1970, moved Turkey to a new crisis, in which one of the sides was the army. On March 12, 1971, the upper army gave a memorandum to the government. Demirel’s resignation, and his indication that the memorandum had no place in the rule of law, started the process of an interim regime until the elections of 14 October 1973. In this process, four interim regime governments were established, the prime ministers of two of which were Nihat Erim and the other two, Ferit Melen and Naim Talu.

The period from 1973 till the 12 September 1980 coup, was marked by political instability, government crises and increasingly violent social events. In the three years from the 1977 election to the military coup, four governments served in total Period, firstly The Nationalist Front Government II (APMSP-MHP), then established with the transfer of deputies Ecevit Government II and, finally, a minority government were established under the presidency of Demirel until the 1980 Revolution.

Post-80 Parties and Elections

With the military coup of 12 September 1980, the political regime was restored, and progress was made as a reaction to the negativity of the previous period. Two instruments were used to prevent government crises and stop fragmentation in the political party system. The first is the protection of the proportional representation system by the electoral law, but the introduction of a %10 country-wide electoral threshold. This arrangement was intended to keep small parties, as well as parties deemed ‘out of system’, out of parliament. With the %10 electoral threshold, the current proportional representation system was expected to produce similar results to the majority systems. The second instrument was to close all political parties after the coup and to allow only three parties to enter the elections held in 1983. Three parties were allowed to participate in the 1983 elections. These were the Nationalist Democracy Party (Milliyetçi Demokrasi Partisi MDP) led by Retired General Turgut Sunalp, The Populist Party (Halkçı Parti-HP) led by Necdet Calp, who also served as principal clerk to İnonü, and the Motherland Party (Anavatan Partisi-ANAP) led by Turgut Özal, who served as the minister responsible for the economy in the post-coup government. In the 1987 elections, ANAP, which lost a considerable number of votes and declined to 36.3%, was able to obtain a majority to form a government because only three parties could enter the parliament. From this election onwards, the signs of returning to the order of parties before September 12 began to emerge. The MDP was wiped out of the political scene, and the Social Democrat People’s Party (Sosyal Demokrat Halkçı Parti-SHP) emerged when HP merged with the Social Democratic Party (Sosyal Demokrat PartiSODEP). SHP became the second party with % 24.8 in the 1987 elections, and the True Path Party, which emerged as the continuation of the AP, entered third place with 19.1%.

The economic crisis of 1994, a military intervention attributed to the title ‘post-modern’ in February 1997 and the rising PKK terrorism marked the 90s. In this period, the parties of the MNP-MSP tradition (National OpinionMilli Görüş) and the parties that prioritised the representation of Kurds were closed many times.

Another important development in the 90s was the involvement of the parties which were predominantly elected from the East and Southeast, came out with the claim of carrying the demands of the Kurds to politics. The first party of this tradition is the People’s Labour Party (HEP), which was established in 1990. This party, which won 11 deputies from the SHP lists in the 1991 elections, was closed by the Constitutional Court in 1993. This line continued with the Democracy Party (Demokrasi Partisi-DEP), the People’s Democracy Party (Halkın Demokrasi Partisi-HADEP), the Democratic People’s Party (Demokratik Halk Partisi-DEHAP), the Democratic Society Party (Demokratik Toplum Partisi-DTP) and the Peace and Democracy Party (Barış ve Demokrasi PartisiBDP). All of these parties, except the BDP, were closed down.

There are two structural problems that led the 90s to the crisis and weaken the parties need to be dealt with. The first issue is ‘central policy’ which was established on 27 May, which was reinforced after 12 September and turned into a kind of political instability in the 1990s. The second point is the post-modern transformation of the parties, which was intensified in the 90s. In the modern sense, the three main functions of political parties can be listed as follows: representation of socio-economic sectors whose interests and the notions of ‘good society’ are similar; to have an ideology or a view of ideas that legitimizes these interests and the idea of society; the ability to mobilize the socio-economic sectors that they represent in line with these interests and community project.

The party that passed the crisis of the 90s and ensured political stability turned out to be the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi-AK Party), which came to power after the 2001 economic crisis. The AK Party, which has been in power for 16 years, has dominant party appearance with the support of around 50% of the votes which it has made stable since the 2007 elections. After 2002, Turkey did not experience any promising change of power.

Parties and Electoral Systems in Turkey

In the Turkish political life, it is seen that the main determinant in the search and implementation of the electoral system is the reaction to the election system and its results. In this context, for a better understanding, take the elections in Turkey in three different phases. The periods between 1950-1960, 1960-1980 and 1980 include differences in terms of constitutional order, political / social conditions and electoral system preference. When the period of 1960-1980 is examined, it is seen that in the 1961 elections, the d’Hondt method with the threshold was applied. The system of national balance in the 1965 elections, and the classical d’Hondt system without threshold or barrage in the 1969, 1973 and 1977 elections were applied. The list majority system was implemented in the elections in the period of 1950-1960 in Turkey, it can be said that this system is the system that produces the most unfair results among the current electoral systems. The elections in this period have led to an ‘extreme’ representation in favour of the party that has received more votes.

Election systems implemented between 1960 and 1980 gave priority to the principle of justice and paved the way for the development of parties. In the second half of the 1960s, where social stability was relatively high, social stability was reflected in politics, and even in the elections of 1965 in which the national balance system was applied, which completely contradicted the principle of stability, the one-party government was able to emerge. The 1970s is a period when political stability deteriorated along with social stability and government crises intensified. After the military intervention of September 12, 1980, the electoral system was reorganized and the principle of stability became the main focus of the movement. In the 1970s, in response to the instability created by coalition governments, a double threshold proportional representation system was introduced. In the 1983 elections, the d’Hondt system, which includes both the countrywide election threshold (10%) and the electoral district threshold, has been implemented. In 1987 elections ‘quota candidacy’ and in 1991 elections ‘preferential voting’ was added to this system. Since the 1995 elections, the electoral district threshold was abolished and d’Hondt system with countrywide electoral threshold was implemented. However, the September 12 administration’s desire for stability was not fulfilled. While the disintegration of the party system gained momentum, from the 1987 elections to the 2002 elections, no party was able to win a single parliamentary majority. Especially from the 1990s onwards, the rapid collapse of the ‘central right’ has undermined the electoral system, which has been set up for two or three ‘big’ parties.

Why could a long-lasting and stable electoral system not be established in Turkey? The first and perhaps most important of the reasons is that Turkey, as a dynamic social structure and having an extension of social change, is also undergoing a rapid transformation of the political structure. The electoral system cannot keep up with the changing system of parties. For example, an electoral system suitable for the structure of parties with two large mass parties is beginning to produce negative results as the political party system evolves into a structure with many and close parties. The second reason is that there is no consensus between the social and political elites on the expectations of the elections and the objectives of the electoral system.

With the 2016 referendum, Turkey adopted the Presidential governmental system. The executive organ is no longer two-headed and the president of the executive committee is elected directly by the referendum. A qualified majority is required to be elected as president; therefore, the system is arranged in two rounds. If no candidate gets 50% + 1 of the votes in the first round, the two candidates who have the most votes are competing in the second round. The change of the government system showed its first effects on the party system in the June 24, 2018 elections.

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