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Democratic Party
Demokrat Parti
Leader Husamettin Cindoruk (2009)
Founded 1983 (1983) (as DYP), 2007 (2007) (as DP)
Headquarters Çetin Emeç Bulvarı 117, Balgat - Ankara, Turkey
Ideology Conservatism, economic liberalism, liberal democracy
Official colours White, red
Website
http://www.dyp.org.tr/
Politics of Turkey
Political parties
Elections

The Democratic Party (Turkish: Demokrat Parti, DP) is a right-wing, conservative Turkish political party, established by Suleyman Demirel in 1983 as the True Path Party (Turkish: Doğru Yol Partisi or DYP). It succeeded the historical Democratic Party and the Justice Party - two parties with similar ideologies which were closed as a result of military intervention.

There have been four DYP governments since its foundation; one led by Demirel, the other three by Turkey's first woman prime minister, Tansu Çiller. The party now has only 4 seats in parliament after faring badly in recent elections, when many voters defected to the Justice and Development Party (AKP).

On 5 May 2007 it was announced that DYP and the Motherland Party (ANAP) would merge to form the Democratic Party (Demokrat Parti). For that occasion, DYP renamed itself (based on the previous party of the same name), and it was planned that ANAP would join the newly founded DP. Shortly before the election, however, the merging attempt failed.[1] However, ANAP stated it would not contest the upcoming elections.

After the DP only got about 6% of the votes in the 2007 election, Ağar resigned as party leader.[2]

Contents

Brief background

The DYP is seen as a centre-right, kemalist-conservative party. It has on occasion been compared to the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in terms of similar conservative structures, although each party comes from backgrounds considerably different from the other. The DYP's history spans back to the historical Democratic Party, established in 1946 with the introduction of a multi-party system in Turkish politics, whereas the AKP broke off as the more moderate wing of the disbanded Virtue Party.

The party's logo, a horse upon a red background, derives from the popular mispronunciation of its predecessor's name, "Demokrat Partisi". The word "Demokrat" did not readily roll off the tongue of rural voters, who found it easier to say "Demir Kır At" (iron, white horse).[3] After the renaming in mid-2007, the logo became a white horse on a red map of Turkey.

History

The DYP's predecessor was the Democratic Party (Turkish: Demokrat Parti, DP), which was a conservative party responsible for relaxing Turkey's strict secularism laws. The party was suppressed in the 1960 military coup d'etat and later reestablished as the Justice Party (Adalet Partisi, AP), which was disbanded in coup of 1980.

Both parties staunchly rivaled the social democratic Republican People's Party (CHP). The military has overthrown their governments on several occasions: in 1960, the Adnan Menderes government was deposed and Menderes himself was executed; on March 26, 1971, the government of party veteran Suleyman Demirel was threatened with military intervention and forced to resign; and on September 12, 1980 the military carried out a full-scale coup, suppressing all political parties, including Demirel's AP.

In 1983, Demirel created the True Path Party (Turkish: Doğru Yol Partisi, DYP), the antecedent of the AP - still conservative, but now with a secular agenda. Even so, the military and conservative governments banned the new party, and the DYP was declared illegal and its members persecuted. Finally, in 1987, after things calmed down, the party was legalized, and entered Turkish politics for the first time. It was hugely successful.

In the 1991 general elections, the DYP defeated the Motherland Party (Turkish: Anavatan Partisi, ANAP) and the CHP, winning an absolute majority in the Parliament, making Suleyman Demirel prime minister once again. In 1993, the DYP won once more. Demirel had already been elected Turkey's 9th President, and his party was now led by Tansu Çiller, who became the country's first woman prime minister.

In 1996, the Susurluk scandal broke. The DYP lost the election to the ANAP led by Mesut Yılmaz, who formed a coalition with the DYP. The conservative coalition broke down in 1998, and that same year, the DYP took a turn for the worse. The DYP then had heavy recruitment among police intelligence.[4]

ANAP stayed in power with a left-wing party, the Democratic Left Party (DSP), while the DYP joined the Virtue Party in opposition.

The DYP secured 9.55% of the vote in the November 2002 general election, slightly under the 10% election threshold to enter parliament. However, a number of independents have since joined the party, and they currently (as of November 2004) have 4 seats in Turkey's 549-seat parliament. The figure hardly makes the DYP a driving force in Turkish politics, but it remains Turkey's third-largest party and particularly influential in rural areas.

Tansu Çiller resigned as party leader following the 2002 election defeat, eventually being replaced by Mehmet Ağar.

On 5 May 2007 it was announced that DYP and the Motherland Party (ANAP) would merge to form the Democratic Party (Turkish: Demokrat Parti). For that occasion, DYP renamed itself (based on the previous party of the same name), and it was planned that ANAP would join the newly founded DP. Shortly before the election, however, the merging attempt failed.[1] However, ANAP stated it would not contest the upcoming elections.

Map illustrating the party's performance at the 2007 general election by constituency.

After the DP only got about 6% of the votes in the 2007 election, Ağar resigned as party leader.[2]

Sources

  1. ^ a b "DYP-ANAP Ayrıldı" (in Turkish). http://www.ozgurkocaeli.com.tr/news.php?id=15110. Retrieved 2007-07-11.  
  2. ^ a b People's Daily Online - Turkish DP leader resigns
  3. ^ Kaplan, Sam (2006). The Pedagogical State. Stanford University Press. p. 172. ISBN 0804754330. http://books.google.com/books?id=lHPuoNJqaUAC&pg=PA172&vq=demir&source=gbs_search_s&sig=Nq2JlOEmEWU9aIBKqsSlzjB_zIk.  
  4. ^ Akpinar, Hakan (1999-02-03). "DYP'de istihbaratçı savaşı" (in Turkish). Hürriyet. http://webarsiv.hurriyet.com.tr/1999/02/03/94269.asp. Retrieved 2009-01-04.  

See also

External links

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