Single-party period of the Republic of Turkey

Single-party period of the Republic of Turkey

The single-party period of the Republic of Turkey begins after the Turkish War of Independence with the declaration of the Republic on October 29, 1923. Turkey's War of Independence covers the establishment of the Turkish national movement and the Grand National Assembly of Turkey which declared the republicn form of governance with Mustafa Kemal as its first president. The single party, the Republican People's Party, was established on 9 September 1923.

1923-1938: Atatürk ("Eternal Chief")

After the foundation of the Liberal Republican Party by Ali Fethi Okyar, religious groups joined the liberals and consequently, widespread bloody disorders took place, especially in the eastern territories. The Liberal Republican Party was dissolved on 17 November 1930 and no further attempt at a multiparty democracy was made until 1945. Turkey was admitted to the League of Nations in July 1932.


1927 Census

The first census of the republic was on 1927. The census gathered data about literacy, economic and social values.

1938-1950: İnönü (National Chief)

Atatürk's successor after his death on November 10, 1938 was Ismet Inönü. Ismet Inönü was a strong believer in caution and preparation in state management. During his presidency, two forces continuously struggled for dominance. One group wanted to increase the control over state functions, while the other group wanted to debate domestic and foreign affairs. Inönü's main legacy was the method he left to Turkey to balance these forces.

Inönü did not have much opportunity to balance these forces, as World War II was about to break out. Inönü sided with the group seeking more control over state functions. His move was opposed by a large group of politicians, journalists, landowners and elites from different segments who join the opposing camp.

Inönü's policies did not follow th course of complete suppression of expression or fully representative democracy: he personally forced the system into multi-party politics. The politics of Anatolia did not yield to personal politics because of the geopolitical position. The history of the Ottoman Empire shows that Turkish state can not change its politics with its neighbours as easily as it can change a sultan. However, the Turkish state needed a leader to mobilize the nation for its own strategic goals. Turkey needed a leader without having the full control of presidency. Multi-party project gave that chance to Turkey. Multi-party politics were shaped during Inönü's watch. In Turkish multi-party politics, there is a leader who controls a party that is balanced with other parties. Besides the definition of presidency, it also produced different definitions of freedom, equality, and justice. Multi-party politics introduced coups into the system, which acts as mandatory shift in the political party design. If we say Atatürk defined the nation, Inönü defined the politics of that nation.

Politics before World War II

Politics of World War II

In World War II, Turkey decided to remain neutral. Turkey thus remained safe for the majority of the war. In February 1945, when the defeat Nazi Germany seemed inevitable, the Turkish Republic declared war on Germany and Japan, thereby qualifying for membership to the United Nations. Very few Turkish troops took part in battle. However, despite her previous world war 1 alliance with Germany, Turkey had interests with the Western powers and met with the War time leaders Roosevelt and Churchill. The latter advocated for Turkey's entrance into the War early on, but Roosevelt only wanted neutrality; the Turkish government agreed.

Politics after World War II


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