Populist Party (Turkey)
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After the coup of 1980, all political parties were closed by the military rule (so called National Security Council or Turkish: MGK) regardless of their political views, on 16 October 1981. In 1983, MGK decided to allow the formation of new parties with severe restrictions. According to instructions, the new parties were not allowed to use the names of the former parties and former politicians were not allowed to be the charter member of the new parties.
One of the parties closed by MGK was Republican People's Party (Turkish: CHP) the oldest party in Turkey. The followers of CHP like Avni Güler, Engin Aydın and Turhan Timuçin founded People's Party in the course of CHP on 21 May 1983. The chairman of the party was Necdet Calp. who had once been an executive assistant of late İsmet İnönü, the second president of Turkey. Although he was not a widely known name, he caused a nationwide excitement in a panel discussion on TV by his reaction to the proposal of privatization of İstanbul Bosphorus Bridge.
MGK banned SODEP, main rival of HP on the course of CHP. So as a single follower of CHP, HP was able to receive % 30.5 of all votes in the elections which was held on 6 November 1983. HP became the main opposition party. However this support could not be maintained in the local elections on 21 March 1984. Because now, SODEP was qualified to enter the race and majority of ex CHP votes were canalized to SODEP. HP had to be contended with a 8.8, which meant a loss of nearly 75% of its votes in less than 5 Months.
Merging with SODEP
In the party congress on 27 June 1985, Necdet Calp lost his chair to Aydın Güven Gürkan. Gürkan met with Rahşan Ecevit, the planner of the proposed party DSP and the Erdal İnönü the chairman of SODEP for a possible merging plan. Although Ecevit was reluctant, İnönü who had already proposed fusion of all CHP followers was an enthusiastic supporter of the merging the two parties. On 3 November 1985, SODEP merged with HP. İnönü agreed to give up his seat during the fusion period. The new party formed by this fusion was named as Social Democrat Populist Party (Turkish: Sosyal Demokrat Halkçı Parti) with the abbreviation SHP which resembled that of CHP and a party flag with 6 arrows which resembled that of CHP. (The abbreviation SHP should not be confused with the same abbreviation used by another party after 2002)
- Turkish parliament page (in Turkish)
- Türkiye'nin 74 yılı, Tempo Yayınları, Hürgüç Gazetecilik, İstanbul, 1998