Republican People's Party

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Republican People's Party
Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi
AbbreviationCHP
LeaderÖzgür Özel
Secretary-GeneralSelin Sayek Böke
SpokespersonDeniz Yücel
FounderMustafa Kemal Atatürk
Founded
  • 7 September 1919 (1919-09-07) (as a resistance organisation)
  • 9 September 1923 (1923-09-09) (as a political party)
  • 9 September 1992 (1992-09-09) (re-establishment)
Dissolved16 October 1981 (1981-10-16)
Preceded by
Succeeded bySocial Democracy Party (1983–1985)
Populist Party (1983–1985)
Social Democratic Populist Party(1985-1995)
Democratic Left Party (1985–present)
HeadquartersAnadolu Bulvarı No: 12,
Çankaya, Ankara
Student wingHalk-Lis (Halkçı Liseliler)
Youth wingCHP Youth
Women's wingCHP Kadın Kolları
NGOAtatürkist Thought Association (unofficial)
SODEV (unofficial)
Membership (2024)Increase 1,428,800[4]
Ideology
Political positionCentre-left
National affiliationNation Alliance (2018–2023)
European affiliationParty of European Socialists (associate)
International affiliationProgressive Alliance
Socialist International
Historical:
International Entente of Radical and Similar Democratic Parties[5] (associate)[6]
Colours  Red
Slogan"Turkey Alliance"
Grand National Assembly
129 / 600
Metropolitan municipalities
11 / 30
District municipalities
241 / 1,351
Provincial councilors
184 / 1,251
Municipal Assemblies
4,638 / 20,498
Party flag
Flag of the Republican People's Party
Website
chp.org.tr

The Republican People's Party (Turkish: Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi, pronounced [dʒumhuːɾiˈjet haɫk 'paɾtisi] , acronymized as CHP [dʒeːheːpeˑ]) is a Kemalist and social democratic political party in Turkey.[7] It is the oldest political party in Turkey, founded by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the first president and founder of the modern Turkish Republic. The party is also cited as the founding party of modern Turkey.[8] Its logo consists of the Six Arrows, which represent the foundational principles of Kemalism: republicanism, reformism, laicism (Laïcité/Secularism), populism, nationalism, and statism. It is currently the second largest party in Grand National Assembly with 130 MPs, behind the ruling conservative Justice and Development Party (AKP).

The political party has its origins in the various resistance groups founded during the Turkish War of Independence. Under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, they united in the 1919 Sivas Congress. In 1923, the "People's Party", soon adding the word "Republican" to its name, declared itself to be a political organisation and announced the establishment of the Turkish Republic, with Atatürk as its first president. As Turkey moved into its authoritarian one-party period, the CHP was the apparatus of implementing far reaching political, cultural, social, and economic reforms in the country.

After World War II, Atatürk's successor, İsmet İnönü, allowed for multi-party elections, and the party initiated a peaceful transition of power after losing the 1950 election, ending the one-party period and beginning Turkey's multi-party period. The years following the 1960 military coup saw the party gradually trend towards the center-left, which was cemented once Bülent Ecevit became chairman in 1972. The CHP, along with all other political parties of the time, was banned by the military junta of 1980. The CHP was re-established with its original name by Deniz Baykal on 9 September 1992, with the participation of a majority of its members from the pre-1980 period. Since 2002 it has been the main opposition party to the ruling AKP.[9] Özgür Özel is the chairman of the CHP since 5 November 2023.

It is a founding party of the Nation Alliance, a diverse coalition of opposition parties against the AKP and their People's Alliance. In addition, CHP is an associate member of the Party of European Socialists (PES), a member of the Socialist International, and the Progressive Alliance. Many politicians of CHP have declared their support for LGBT rights and the feminist movement in Turkey. The party is pro-European and supports Turkish membership to European Union and NATO.

History[edit]

Establishment: 1919–1923[edit]

The Republican People's Party has its origins in the resistance organizations, known as Defence of Rights Associations, created in the immediate aftermath of World War I in the Turkish War of Independence. In the Sivas Congress, Mustafa Kemal Pasha (Atatürk) and his colleagues united the Defence of Rights Associations into the Association for the Defence of National Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia (Anadolu ve Rumeli Müdâfaa-i Hukuk Cemiyeti) (A–RMHC), and called for elections in the Ottoman Empire to elect representatives associated with the organization. Most members of the A–RMHC were previously associated with the Committee of Union and Progress.[10]

After the dissolution of the Chamber of Deputies, A–RMHC members proclaimed the Grand National Assembly as a counter government from the Ottoman government in Istanbul. The Grand National Assembly forces militarily defeated Greece, France, and Armenia, overthrew the Ottoman government, and abolished the monarchy. After the 1923 election, the A–RMHC was transformed into a political party called the People's Party (Halk Fırkası) soon changing its name to Republican People's Party (Cumhuriyet Halk Fırkası, and then Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi) (CHP). With a united parliament, the republic was proclaimed with Atatürk as its first president, the Treaty of Lausanne was ratified, and the Caliphate was abolished the next year.[10]

One-party period: 1923–1950[edit]

Atatürk era[edit]

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his Prime Minister İsmet İnönü, 1936. İnönü would succeed him as president and CHP chairman after his death.

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's People's Party began as a de facto successor of the Young Turksİttihadist movement. In 1924, a right-wing opposition to Atatürk lead by Kâzım Karabekir, reacting against the abolition of the Caliphate, formed the Progressive Republican Party (TCF). The life of the TCF was short. The TCF faced allegations of involvement in the Sheikh Said rebellion and for conspiring with remaining members of the CUP to assassinate Atatürk in the İzmir Affair. Atatürk's Prime Minister, İsmet İnönü, proposed the passage of the Law on Ensuring Peace which gave the government extraordinary powers. Martial law was declared, all political parties except the CHP were banned, all newspapers beyond state approved papers were banned (this ban would be lifted by 1930), and the TCF's members were purged from the government. Republican Turkey was the third one-party state of Interwar Europe, after the Soviet Union and Fascist Italy.[11] For the next two decades Turkey was under a paternalist one-party authoritarian dictatorship, with one interruption; another brief experiment of opposition politics through the formation of the Liberal Republican Party.

The Six Arrows statue in the garden of the Grand National Assembly during the 4th Republican People's Party Ordinary Convention, 1935

From 1924 to 1946, the CHP introduced sweeping social, cultural, educational, economic, and legal reforms that transformed Turkey into a republican nation state. Such reforms included the adoption of Swiss and Italian legal and penal codes, the acceleration of industrialization, land reform and rural development programs, forced assimilation policies, strict secularism, women's suffrage, and switching written Turkish from Arabic script into Latin script, to name a few. With the Ottomanism question settled, Turkish nation-building was prioritized which saw nationalist propaganda, language purification, and pseudo-scientific racial theories propagated. In the party's second ordinary congress in 1927, Atatürk delivered a thirty-six hour long Speech of his account of the pivotal last 10 years of Turkish history, which ended with an appeal to the Turkish youth to protect the Republic. Its narrative has served as the basis of a growing cult of personality associated with Atatürk and the historiography of the transition to the Republic from the Sultanate. In the period of 1930–1939, Atatürk's CHP clarified its ideology from a vague left-wing-İttihadism for 'The Six Arrows': republicanism, reformism, laïcité, populism, nationalism, and statism, as well as borrowing tenets from Communism and (Italian) Fascism.[12] They defined Atatürk's principles, which were soon known as Kemalism, and were codified into the constitution on 5 February 1937.

The CHP (Then known with the acronym "CHF") sponsored many nation building projects throughout the 1930s, such as People's Courses.

Opposition to Atatürk's reforms were suppressed by various coercive institutions and military force, at the expense of religious conservatives, minorities, and communists. The party-state cracked down on Kurdish resistance to assimilation, suppressing multiple rebellions and encouraging the denial of their existence. Anti-clerical and anti-veiling campaigns peaked in the mid-1930s. In the party's third convention, it clarified its approach towards the religious minorities of the Christians and the Jews, accepting them as real Turks as long as they adhere to the national ideal and use the Turkish language.[13] However under the state sanctioned secularist climate Alevis were able to make great strides in their emancipation, and to this day make up a core constituency of the CHP. With the onset of the Great Depression, the party divided into statist and liberal factions, being championed by Atatürk's prime minister İnönü and his finance minister Celal Bayar respectively. Atatürk mostly favored İnönü's policies, so economic development of the early republic was largely confined to state-owned enterprises and five-year plans. Further left-wing Republicans centered around the Kadro circle were deemed to be impermissible, so they were also suppressed.

İnönü era[edit]

On 12 November 1938, the day after Atatürk's death, his ally İsmet İnönü was elected the second president and assumed leadership of the Republican People's Party.[14] İnönü's presidency saw heavy state involvement in the economy and further rural development initiatives such as Village Institutes. On foreign affairs, the Hatay State was annexed and İnönü adopted a policy of neutrality despite attempts by the Allies and Axis powers to bring Turkey into World War II, during which extensive conscription and rationing was implemented to ensure an armed neutrality. Non-Muslims especially suffered when the CHP government implemented discriminatory "wealth taxes," labor battalions, and peon camps. Over the course of the war, the CHP eventually rejected ultranationalism, with pan-Turkists being purged in the Racism-Turanism Trials.

In the aftermath of World War II, İnönü called for a multi-party general election in 1946 – the first multi-party general election in the country's history. The Motion with Four Signatures resulted in the resignation of some CHP members including Bayar, who then founded the Democrat Party (DP), which challenged the party in the election. The result was a victory for the CHP, which won 395 of the 465 seats, amid criticism that the election did not live up to democratic standards. Under pressure by the new conservative parliamentary opposition and the United States, the party became especially anti-communist, and retracted some of its rural development programs and anti-clerical policies.[15][16][17] The period between 1946 and 1950 saw İnönü prepare for a pluralistic Turkey.[18][19] A more free and fair general election was held in 1950 that led to the CHP losing power to the DP. İnönü presided over a peaceful transition of power. The 1950 election marked the end of the CHP's last majority government. The party has not been able to regain a parliamentary majority in any subsequent election since.[20]

Road to the center-left: 1950–1980[edit]

Due to the winner-take-all system in place during the 1950s, the DP achieved landslide victories in elections that were reasonably close, meaning the CHP was in opposition for 10 years. In the meantime, the party began a long transformation into a social democratic force. Even before losing power İnönü created the ministry of labor and signed workers protections into law, and universities were given autonomy from the state.[18] In its ninth congress in 1951, the youth branch and the women's branch were founded. In 1953, the establishment of trade unions and vocational chambers was proposed, and support for a bicameral parliament, the establishment of a constitutional court, election security, judicial independence, and the right to strike for workers was added to the party program.[21]

Though the DP and CHP were rivals, the DP was founded by Republicans and mostly continued Kemalist policies. But despite its name, the Democrat Party became increasingly authoritarian by the end of its rule. İnönü was harassed and almost lynched multiple times by DP supporters, and the DP government confiscated CHP property and harassed their members. The DP blocked the CHP from forming an electoral alliance with opposition parties for the 1957 snap election. By 1960, the DP accused the CHP of plotting a rebellion and threatened its closure. With the army concerned by the DP's authoritarianism, Turkey's first military coup was performed by junior officers. After one year of junta rule the DP was banned and Prime Minister Adnan Menderes and two of his ministers were tried and executed. Right-wing parties which trace their roots to the DP have since continuously attacked the CHP for their perceived involvement in the hanging of Menderes.[21]

The CHP emerged as the first-placed party at the general election of 1961, and formed a grand coalition with the Justice Party, a successor-party to the Democrat Party. This was the first coalition government in Turkey, which endured for seven-months. İnönü was able to form two more governments with other parties until the 1965 election. His labor minister Bülent Ecevit was instrumental in giving Turkish workers the right to strike and collective bargaining. As leader of the Democratic Left movement in the CHP, Ecevit contributed to the party adopting the Left of Centre (Ortanın solu) programme for that election, which they lost against the Justice Party.[22]

İnönü favored Ecevit's controversial faction, resulting in Turhan Feyzioğlu leaving the CHP and founding the Reliance Party. When asked about his reasoning for his favoring Ecevit, İnönü replied: "Actually we are already a left-to-center party after embracing Laïcité. If you are populist, you are (also) at the left of center."[23] With Feyzioğlu's departure, the CHP participated in the 1969 election with a Democratic Left program without qualms, though it achieved a similar result as its performance from last election due to the growing perception that the party primarily appealed to the educated urban elite. İnönü remained as opposition leader and the leader of the CHP until 8 May 1972, when he was overthrown by Ecevit in a party congress, due to his endorsement of the military intervention of 1971.

Bülent Ecevit with Nicolae Ceaușescu, 1978.

Ecevit adopted a distinct left wing role in politics and, although remaining staunchly nationalist, attempted to implement democratic socialism into the ideology of CHP. His arrival saw support for the party increase in the 1973 election. After establishing a coalition arrangement with an Islamist party, Ecevit made the decision to invade Cyprus. The 1970s saw the party solidify its relations with trade unions and leftist groups in an atmosphere of intense polarization and political violence. The CHP achieved its best ever result in a free and fair multi-party election under Ecevit, when in 1977, the party received 41% of the vote, but not enough support for a stable government. Ecevit and his political rival Süleyman Demirel would constantly turnover the premiership as partisan deadlock took hold. This ended in a military coup in 1980, resulting in the banning of every political party and major politicians being jailed and banned from politics.[24]

Recovery period: 1980–2002[edit]

Both the party name "Republican People's Party" and the abbreviation "CHP" were banned until 1987. Until 1999, Turkey was ruled by the centre-right Motherland Party (ANAP) and the True Path Party (DYP), unofficial successors of the Democrat Party and the Justice Party, as well as, briefly, by the Islamist Welfare Party. CHP supporters also established successor parties. By 1985, Erdal İnönü, İsmet İnönü's son, consolidated two successor parties to form the Social Democratic Populist Party (SHP), while the Democratic Left Party (Turkish: Demokratik Sol Parti, DSP) was formed by Rahşan Ecevit, Bülent Ecevit's wife (Bülent Ecevit later took over the DSP in 1987).[25]

After the ban on pre-1980 politicians was lifted in 1987, Deniz Baykal, a household name from the pre-1980 CHP, reestablished the Republican People's Party in 1992, and the SHP merged with the party in 1995. However, Ecevit's DSP remained separate, and to this day has not merged with the CHP.[25] Observers noted that the two parties held similar ideologies and split the Kemalist vote in the nineties. The CHP held an uncompromisingly secularist and establishmentalist character and supported bans of headscarves in public spaces and the Kurdish language.[26]

From 1991 to 1996, the SHP and then the CHP were in coalition governments with the DYP. Baykal supported Mesut Yılmaz's coalition government after the collapse of the Welfare-DYP coalition following the 28 February "post-modern coup." However, due to the Türkbank scandal, the CHP withdrew its support and helped depose the government with a no confidence vote. Ecevit's DSP formed an interim-government, during which the PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan was captured in Kenya. As such, in the election of 1999, the DSP benefited massively in the polls at the expense of CHP, and the party failed to exceed the 10% threshold (8.7% vote), not winning any seats.

Main opposition under Baykal: 2002–2010[edit]

In the 2002 general election, the CHP came back with 20% of the vote but 32% of the seats in parliament, as only it and the new AKP (Justice and Development Party) received above the 10% threshold to enter parliament. With DSP's collapse, CHP became Turkey's main Kemalist party. It also became the second largest party and the main opposition party, a position it has retained since. Since the dramatic 2002 election, the CHP has been racked by internal power struggles, and has been outclassed by the AKP governments of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Many of its members were critical of the leadership of CHP, especially Baykal, who they complained was stifling the party of young blood by turning away the young who turn either to apathy or even vote for the AKP.

Republic Protest in Anıtkabir, Atatürk's mausoleum

In 2007, the culmination of tensions between Turkey's secularist establishment and AKP politicians turned into a political crisis. Since Baykal proclaimed the party to be the bulwark of the secularist establishment, the CHP assisted undemocratic attempts by the army and judiciary to shut down the newly elected AKP. The crisis began with massive protests by secularists supported by the CHP in reaction to the AKP's candidate for that year's presidential election: Abdullah Gül, due to his background in Islamist politics and his wife's wearing of the hijab. The CHP chose to boycott the (indirect) election.[27] Without quorum, Erdoğan called for a snap election to increase his mandate, in which the CHP formed an electoral alliance with the declining DSP, but gained only 21% of the vote. During the campaign season, a memorandum directed at the AKP was posted online by the Turkish Armed Forces. The CHP boycotted Gül's second attempt to be voted president, though this time Gül had the necessary quorum with MHP's participation and won.[28] The swearing-in ceremony was boycotted by the CHP and the Chief of the General Staff Yaşar Büyükanıt.[29]

The party also voted against a package of constitutional amendments to have the president elected by the people instead of parliament, which was eventually put to a referendum. The "no" campaign, supported by the CHP, failed, as a majority of Turks voted in favor of direct presidential elections. The final challenge against the AKP's existence was a 2008 closure trial which ended without a ban. Following the decision, the AKP government, in a covert alliance with the Gülen movement, began a purge of the Turkish military, judiciary, and police forces of secularists in the Ergenekon and Sledgehammer trials, which the CHP condemned.[30] Between 2002 and 2010, Turkey held three general elections and two local elections, all of which the CHP received between 18 and 23% of the vote.

An extraordinary vote in parliament saw half of the AKP's parliamentary group vote with the CHP against joining the US-lead coalition invasion of Iraq.[31]

Main opposition under Kılıçdaroğlu: 2010–2023[edit]

On 10 May 2010, Deniz Baykal announced his resignation as leader of the Republican People's Party after a sex tape of him was leaked to the media. Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu was elected to be the new party leader.[32] Kılıçdaroğlu returned the CHP to its traditional social-democratic image and cast away its secularist-establishmentalist character. This involved building bridges to voters it has traditionally not attracted: the devout, Kurds, and right-wing voters.[33] However even with Kılıçdaroğlu at the helm, after five general elections the CHP still did not win an election, receiving between only 22 and 26% of the vote in parliamentary elections. The CHP supported the unsuccessful "no" campaign in the 2010 constitutional referendum. In his first general election in 2011, the party increased its support by 25% but not enough to unseat the AKP. The 2013 Gezi Park protests found much support in the CHP.

Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu during the 2017 March for Justice

The 2014 presidential election was the first in which the position would be directly elected and came just after a massive corruption scandal. The CHP and MHP's joint candidate Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu still lost to Erdoğan with only 38% of the vote. The two parties were critical of the government's negotiations for peace with the PKK, which lasted from 2013–July 2015. In the June 2015 general election, the AKP lost its parliamentary majority due to the debut of the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP), which was possible because of strategic voting by CHP voters so the party could pass the 10% threshold.[34] Coalition talks went nowhere. MHP ruled out partaking in a government with HDP in a CHP lead government and the CHP refused to govern with the AKP after weeks of negotiations. In a snap election held that November, the AKP regained their parliamentary majority as well as MHP's support.

Kılıçdaroğlu supported the government in the 2016 coup d'état attempt, the subsequent purges, and incursions into Syria.[34] This support went so far as to help the government pass a law to lift parliamentary immunities, resulting in the jailing of MPs from the HDP, including Selahattin Demirtaş, as well as CHP lawmakers.[35] The party lead the unsuccessful "no" campaign for the 2017 constitutional referendum.

Mayor of Ankara Mansur Yavaş, Leader of CHP Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and Mayor of Istanbul Ekrem İmamoğlu.

By 2017, dissidents from MHP founded the Good Party. Kılıçdaroğlu was instrumental in the facilitating the rise of the new party by transferring MPs so they would have a parliamentary group to compete in the 2018 election. In the 2018 general election the CHP, Good Party, Felicity, and Democrat Party established the Nation Alliance to challenge the AKP and MHP's People's Alliance.[36][37] Though CHP's vote was reduced to 22%, strategic voting for the other parties yielded the alliance 33% of the vote. Their candidate for president: Muharrem İnce, lost in the first round, receiving only 30% of the vote. The Nation Alliance was re-established for the 2019 local elections, which saw great gains for the CHP, capturing nearly 30% of the electorate. A tacit collaboration with the HDP allowed for CHP to win the municipal mayoralties of İstanbul and Ankara.[33]

Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu was nominated as the CHP and the Nation Alliance candidate for the 2023 presidential election. Ekrem İmamoğlu and Mansur Yavaş, mayors of İstanbul and Ankara respectively, along with other party leaders in Nation Alliance, ran to be his vice-presidents. Despite the economic crisis, mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the lackluster response to the Kahramanmaraş earthquake, Kılıçdaroğlu lost his bid to Erdoğan after taking the race to a run-off and receiving 48% of the vote. The Nation Alliance again lost the parliamentary election to the ruling People's Alliance. Smaller parties to the CHP's right ran on its lists, which resulted in these receiving 35 seats in parliament despite polling at just around 3%. At the 38th ordinary party congress held shortly after the election, Özgür Özel was elected leader of the CHP, defeating the incumbent Kılıçdaroğlu who had held the position since 2010.[38]

Main opposition under Özel: 2023-present[edit]

Ideology and political positions[edit]

Domestic[edit]

The Republican People's Party is a centre-left[39] political party that espouses social democracy[40][41] and Kemalism.[42] The CHP describes itself as a ''modern social-democratic party, which is faithful to the founding principles and values of the Republic of Turkey".[43][44]

The distance between the party administration and many leftist grassroots, especially left-oriented Kurdish voters, contributed to the party's shift away from the political left.[45] Some leftists critical of Kemalism criticize the party's continuous opposition to the removal of Article 301 of the Turkish penal code, which caused people to be prosecuted for "insulting Turkishness" including Elif Şafak and Nobel Prize winner author Orhan Pamuk, its conviction of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, its attitude towards minorities in Turkey, as well as its Cyprus policy.

Numerous politicians from the party have espoused support for LGBT rights,[46][47][48] and the feminist movement in Turkey.

Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has repeatedly called for Selahattin Demirtaş and Osman Kavala to be released from jail.[49]

Foreign[edit]

The party holds a significant position in the Socialist International,[50] Progressive Alliance[51] and is an associate member of the Party of European Socialists. In 2014, the CHP urged the Socialist International to accept the Republican Turkish Party of Northern Cyprus as a full member.[52]

The CHP has supported Turkey's interventions in the Middle East. While it still supports Turkish intervention in Libya, it has voted against intervention in Iraq since 2021;[53] since 2023, it has also voted against intervention in Syria.[54]

The party is pro-European and supports Turkish membership to the European Union. They also support Turkish membership to NATO and the expansion of the alliance.[55][56] They support Sweden's accession into NATO.[57]

Electorate[edit]

Party headquarters in Ankara, showing a banner urging a "no" vote in the 2017 referendum on establishing a presidential system.

The CHP draws its support from professional middle-class secular and liberally religious voters. It has traditional ties to the middle and upper-middle classes such as white-collar workers, retired generals, and government bureaucrats as well as academics, college students, left-leaning intellectuals and labour unions such as DİSK.[58]

The party also appeals to minority groups such as Alevis. According to The Economist, "to the dismay of its own leadership the CHP's core constituency, as well as most of its MPs, are Alevis."[59] The party's former leader, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, was also an Alevi.[60]

The CHP also draws much of their support from voters of big cities and coastal regions. The party's strongholds are the west of the Aegean Region (İzmir, Aydın, Muğla), the northwest of the Marmara Region (Turkish Thrace; Edirne, Kırklareli, Tekirdağ, Çanakkale), the east of the Black Sea Region (Ardahan and Artvin), and the Anatolian college town of Eskişehir.[61]

Party leaders[edit]

No. Name
(Born–Died)
Portrait Term in Office
1 Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
(1881–1938)
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk 9 September 1923 10 November 1938
2 İsmet İnönü
(1884–1973)
İsmet İnönü 26 December 1938 8 May 1972
3 Bülent Ecevit
(1925–2006)
Bülent Ecevit 14 May 1972 30 October 1980
Party closed down following the 12 September 1980 coup d'état
4 Deniz Baykal
(1938–2023)
Deniz Baykal 9 September 1992 18 February 1995
5 Hikmet Çetin
(1937–)
Hikmet Çetin 18 February 1995 9 September 1995
(4) Deniz Baykal
(1938–2023)
Deniz Baykal 9 September 1995 23 May 1999
6 Altan Öymen
(1932–)
23 May 1999 30 September 2000
(4) Deniz Baykal
(1938–2023)
Deniz Baykal 30 September 2000 10 May 2010
7 Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu
(1948–)
Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu 22 May 2010 5 November 2023
8 Özgür Özel
(1974–)
Özgür Özel 5 November 2023 Incumbent

Election results[edit]

Grand National Assembly of Turkey[edit]

Grand National Assembly of Turkey
Election Popular vote Number of seats Status
Votes % ± pp Rank Seats +/– Rank
1927 Steady 1st
335 / 335
Steady 0 Steady 1st Majority government
1931 Steady 1st
287 / 317
Decrease 48 Steady 1st Majority government
1935 Steady 1st
401 / 428
Increase 114 Steady 1st Majority government
1939 Steady 1st Unknown Steady 1st Majority government
1943 Steady 1st Unknown Steady 1st Majority government
1946 Steady 1st
397 / 503
Decrease 73 Steady 1st Majority government
1950 3,176,561 39.45 Increase 39.45 Increase 2nd
69 / 492
Increase 69 Increase 2nd Main Opposition
1954 3,161,696 35.36 Decrease 4.09 Steady 2nd
31 / 537
Decrease 38 Steady 2nd Main Opposition
1957 3,753,136 41.09 Increase 4.73 Steady 2nd
178 / 602
Increase 147 Steady 2nd Main Opposition
1961 3,724,752 36.74 Decrease 4.35 Increase 1st
173 / 450
Decrease 5 Increase 1st Coalition government
1965 2,675,785 28.75 Decrease 7.99 Decrease 2nd
134 / 450
Decrease 39 Decrease 2nd Main Opposition
1969 2,487,163 27.37 Decrease 1.38 Steady 2nd
143 / 450
Increase 9 Steady 2nd Main Opposition
1973 3,570,583 33.30 Increase 5.93 Increase 1st
185 / 450
Increase 42 Increase 1st Coalition government
1977 6,136,171 41.38 Increase 8.09 Steady 1st
213 / 450
Increase 28 Steady 1st Coalition government
Party closed following the 1980 Turkish coup d'état.
1995 3,011,076 10.71 Increase 10.71 Increase 5th
49 / 550
Increase 49 Increase 5th Opposition
1999 2,716,094 8.71 Decrease 2.00 Decrease 6th
0 / 550
Decrease 8 Decrease 6th Extra-parliamentary
opposition
2002 6,113,352 19.39 Increase 10.68 Increase 2nd
178 / 550
Increase 178 Increase 2nd Main Opposition
2007 7,317,808 20.88 Increase 1.50 Steady 2nd
112 / 550
Decrease 66 Steady 2nd Main Opposition
2011 11,155,972 25.98 Increase 5.10 Steady 2nd
135 / 550
Increase 23 Steady 2nd Main Opposition
2015 11,518,139 24.95 Decrease 1.03 Steady 2nd
132 / 550
Decrease 3 Steady 2nd Main Opposition
2015 12,111,812 25.32 Increase 0.37 Steady 2nd
134 / 550
Increase 2 Steady 2nd Main Opposition
2018 11,348,899 22.64 Decrease 2.68 Steady 2nd
146 / 600
Increase 12 Steady 2nd Main Opposition
2023 13,655,909 25.33 Increase 2.69 Steady 2nd
169 / 600
Increase 23 Steady 2nd Main Opposition

Presidential elections[edit]

Presidential election record of the Republican People's Party (CHP)
Election Candidate Votes % Outcome Map
10 August 2014
Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu
Cross-party with MHP
15,587,720 38.44% 2nd
24 June 2018
Muharrem İnce
15,340,321 30.64% 2nd
14 May 2023 Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu
Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu
25,432,951 47.84% 2nd

Senate elections[edit]

Election date Party leader Number of votes received Percentage of votes Number of senators
1961 İsmet İnönü 3,734,285 36,1%
36 / 150
1964 1,125,783 40,8%
19 / 51
1966 877,066 29,6%
13 / 52
1968 899,444 27,1%
13 / 53
1973 Bülent Ecevit 1,412,051 33,6%
25 / 52
1975 2,281,470 43,4%
25 / 54
1977 2,037,875 42,4%
28 / 50
1979 1,378,224 29,1%
12 / 50

Local elections[edit]

Election date Party leader Provincial council votes Percentage of votes Number of municipalities Map
1963 İsmet İnönü 3,458,972 36,22%
335 / 1,045
1968 2,542,644 27,90%
289 / 1,252
1973 Bülent Ecevit 3,708,687 37,09%
551 / 1,640
1977 5,161,426 41,73%
714 / 1,730
1984 Party closed following the 1980 Turkish coup d'état until 1993.
1989
1994 Deniz Baykal 1,297,371 4,61%
64 / 2,710
1999 3,487,483 11,08%
373 / 3,215
2004 5,848,180 18,38%
467 / 3,193
2009 9,233,662 23,11%
503 / 2,903
2014 Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu 10,938,262 26,34%
226 / 1,351
2019 12,625,346 29,36%
240 / 1,355
2024 Özgür Özel

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]