Great Unity Party
|Founded||29 January 1993|
|Youth wing||Alperen Ocakları|
|Colours||Red and white|
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The Great Unity Party (Turkish: Büyük Birlik Partisi, BBP) or Great Union Party is a far-right Islamist and nationalist political party in Turkey, created on January 29, 1993. It is considered to be close to the Grey Wolves organization, and is related to the "Alperen Ocakları" tendency, which operated a synthesis between cultural nationalism and Islamism, and separated itself from the Nationalist Task Party (MÇP), which was renamed to Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in July 1992.
Although it is claimed that the founder of the party Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu left the MHP for lack of religious convictions, this should be seen rather as a speculation as Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu rarely blamed the MHP or talked about the separation. The rift between Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu and Alparslan Türkeş actually had started after 1980 Turkish coup d'état. Alparslan Türkeş defended himself in the infamous speech in which he declared "My opinions and beliefs are of the same as the generals who organized the 1980 Turkish coup d'état, yet I am in prison" speech during trials after the coup. The ideological separation started then and reached the surface after Alparslan Türkeş dismissed the Ankara headquarters of the MHP after the 1992 MHP Congress. The delegates had elected the candidate that Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu supported rather than the one Alparslan Türkeş had supported. Türkeş's dismissal, seen to show an anti-democratic approach, was the final blow to the relationship between the young clique who had suffered during the 1980 coup and were against anything anti-democratic, and the old clique which circled around Alparslan Türkeş and believed in a nationalist-socialistic way of democracy.
The party has been represented in the Parliament only via electoral coalitions with popular parties. At the 2002 legislative elections, the party won 1.1% of the popular vote and no seats; in the 2007 elections Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu was elected as an independent. In 2009 local elections the BBP's candidate was elected as the new mayor of Sivas.
2009 helicopter crash and death of Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu
On March 25, 2009, the leader of the BBP, Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu, died in a helicopter crash in south-eastern Turkey. A large search and rescue operation was conducted in the mountainous area around Göksun in Kahramanmaraş Province. The helicopter wreckage was found 47 hours after the crash, and all six people on board were found dead. İsmail Güneş, a reporter of the Ihlas News Agency, who was accompanying Yazıcıoğlu, initially survived the crash and placed a desperate call for help just after the crash, and reported a broken leg. By the time the search party located the crash site in the inclement weather, all six aboard, including Güneş, were dead. Yazıcıoğlu had been traveling from Çağlayancerit in Kahramanmaraş Province to Yerköy in Yozgat Province in central Anatolia for another political rally before local elections on 29 March when the chartered helicopter crashed.
2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla
- Liza Mügge (2013). "Brussels Calling: The European organisation of migrants from Turkey". In Dirk Halm; Zeynep Sezgin. Migration and Organized Civil Society: Rethinking National Policy. Routledge. p. 167. ISBN 978-1-136-24650-0.
- Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu's biography (Turkish)
- Turkey/Istanbul – Istanbul Police Chief claims there was no political motivation behind Hrant Dink’s murder!, Sendika (English)
- Official website (Turkish)