Nationalist Movement Party

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Nationalist Movement Party
Milliyetçi Hareket Partisi
President Devlet Bahçeli
General Secretary Ismet Buyukataman
Founder Alparslan Türkeş
Slogan Ses ver Türkiye (roughly, "Respond, Turkey!")
Founded February 9, 1969; 45 years ago (1969-02-09)
Preceded by Republican Villagers Nation Party
Headquarters Ehlibeyt Mh. Ceyhun Atuf Kansu Cd No:128, 06105 Ankara, Turkey
Paramilitary wing Grey Wolves
Membership  (2013[1]) 363,393
Ideology Turkish nationalism[2]
Political position Far-right[7][8][9][10][11][12][13]
Colours          Red, white
52 / 550
166 / 1,351
3,501 / 20,498
Politics of Turkey
Political parties

The Nationalist Movement Party (alternatively translated as "Nationalist Action Party"; Turkish: Milliyetçi Hareket Partisi, MHP), is a Turkish far-right political party. The party is also informally known as the Grey Wolves, referring to its unofficial paramilitary youth wing.[14] In the 2011 general elections, the party polled 13.01% (5,585,513 votes) and won 53 seats, retaining its status as the third largest group.


In 1965, nationalist politician Alparslan Türkeş gained control of the conservative rural Republican Villagers Nation Party (Turkish: Cumhuriyetçi Köylü Millet Partisi, CKMP). During an Extraordinary Great Congress held at Adana in Turkey on 8–9 February 1969, Türkeş changed the name of the party to the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

The MHP embraced Turkish nationalism, and under the leadership of Türkeş, militias connected to the party were responsible for assassinating numerous left-wing intellectuals and academics, including some Kurds, during the 1970s. [15] The leader of the party's youth wing, known as the Grey Wolves after Turkic mythology, claimed that they had an intelligence organization that was superior to the state's own.[16]

On May 27, 1980, the party's deputy leader and former government minister Gün Sazak was assassinated by members of the Marxist–Leninist terrorist group Revolutionary Left (Turkish: Devrimci Sol or Dev Sol) in front of his home.[17]

When the Turkish army seized power on September 12, 1980, in a violent coup d'état led by General Kenan Evren, the party was banned, along with all other active political parties at the time, and many of its leading members were imprisoned. Many party members joined the neoliberal Anavatan Partisi or various Islamist parties. Party member (Agâh Oktay Güner) noted that the party's ideology was in power while its members were in prison.

The party later was reformed in 1983 under the name of the Conservative Party (Turkish: Muhafazakar Parti). After 1985, however, the name was changed to the Nationalist Task Party (Turkish: Milliyetçi Çalışma Partisi) then back again to its former name in 1992.[18][better source needed] In 1993, Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu and five other deputies separated and founded the Great Union Party, which is a Islamist party.[18]

At present[edit]

The party is headed by Devlet Bahçeli and has 52 deputies, three of them women, in the Grand National Assembly. The party has recently been putting a distance between itself and its history of ultranationalism, at occasion asking its members to keep away from "ethnic politics".[19]

Election results[edit]

General elections[edit]

Grand National Assembly of Turkey
Election date Party leader Number of votes received Percentage of votes Number of deputies
1969 Alparslan Türkeş 274,225 3.02%
1 / 450
1973 Alparslan Türkeş 362,208 3.38%
3 / 450
1977 Alparslan Türkeş 951,544 6.42%
16 / 450
1995[20] Alparslan Türkeş 2,301,343 8.18%
0 / 550
1999[21] Devlet Bahçeli 5,606,634 17.98%
129 / 550
2002[22] Devlet Bahçeli 2,629,808 8.35%
0 / 550
2007[23] Devlet Bahçeli 5,001,869 14.27%
71 / 550
2011[24] Devlet Bahçeli 5,585,513 13.01%
53 / 550


  1. ^ "Turkey’s ruling party has 7.5 mln members". Hürriyet Daily News. 14 February 2013. Archived from the original on 2 November 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Farnen, Russell F., ed. (2004). Nationalism, Ethnicity, and Identity: Cross National and Comparative Perspectives. Transaction Publishers. p. 252. ISBN 9781412829366. ..the nationalist-fascist Turkish National Movement Party (MHP). 
  3. ^ "MHP to start rallies against Kurdish initiative on Dec. 13". Today's Zaman. 4 December 2009. Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  4. ^ Abadan-Unat, Nermin (2011). Turks in Europe: From Guest Worker to Transnational Citizen. New York: Berghahn Books. p. 19. ISBN 9781845454258. ...the fascist Nationalist Movement Party... 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Turkish far right on the rise". The Independent. 20 April 1999. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  8. ^ Avcı, Gamze (September 2011). "The Nationalist Movement Party's Euroscepticism: Party Ideology Meets Strategy". South European Society and Politics (Routledge) 16 (3): 435–447. doi:10.1080/13608746.2011.598359. ISSN 1743-9612. 
  9. ^ Çınar, Alev; Burak Arıkan (2002). "The Nationalist Action Party: Representing the State, the Nation or the Nationalists?". In Barry Rubin & Metin Heper. Political Parties in Turkey. London: Routledge. p. 25. ISBN 0714652741. 
  10. ^ Huggler, Justin (20 April 1999). "Turkish far right on the rise". The Independent. Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
  11. ^ Celep, Ödül (2010). "Turkey's Radical Right and the Kurdish Issue: The MHP's Reaction to the “Democratic Opening"". Insight Turkey 12 (2): 125–142. 
  12. ^ Arıkan, E. Burak (July 2002). "Turkish ultra–nationalists under review: a study of the Nationalist Action Party". Nations and Nationalism (Association for the Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism) 8 (3): 357–375. doi:10.1111/1469-8219.00055. 
  13. ^ Butler, Daren (21 May 2011). "Pre-election resignations rock Turkish far right". Reuters. Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
  14. ^ Sirin, Veli (13 May 2013). "The Real Erdogan". New York: Gatestone Institute. ...the fascist Nationalist Action Party or MHP, known as the Grey Wolves, from the title of its paramilitary branch. 
  15. ^ Desmond Fernandes and Iskender Ozden (Spring 2001). "United States and NATO inspired 'psychological warfare operations' against the 'Kurdish communist threat' in Turkey". Variant 2 (12): 10–16. [dead link]
  16. ^ Değer, M. Emin (1978). CIA, Kontrgerilla ve Türkiye (in Turkish). Ankara: Kendi Yayını. p. 119. MHP lideri Türkeş, Ülkü Ocaklarını meşru müdafaa yaptığını söyler. Ülkü Ocakları Genel Başkanı da, 'bizim istihbarat örgütümüz devletin örgütünden güçlüdür' demektedir.  Quoted in "Susurluk'ta bütün yollar, devlete uğrayarak CIA'ya çıkar". Kurtuluş Yolu (in Turkish) 4 (39). 2008-09-19. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  17. ^ "MİT'ten 1 Mayıs ve Gün Sazak yanıtı". Hürriyet (in Turkish). 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2014-02-11. 
  18. ^ a b
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Further reading[edit]

  • Başkan, Filiz (January 2006). "Globalization and Nationalism: The Nationalist Action Party of Turkey". Nationalism and Ethnic Politics 12 (1): 83–105. doi:10.1080/13537110500503877. 

External links[edit]