Turkish general election, 1995
Total of 550 seats of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey
276 seats were needed for a majority
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Turkey's 13th general election was held on Sunday December 24, 1995, triggered by the newly reformed Republican People's Party's (CHP) withdrawal from a coalition with the True Path Party (DYP). The coalition had been in government for four years, having been formed by the Social Democratic Populist Party, the CHP's predecessor.
The vote was the first to elect 550 deputies to parliament, its largest size yet. The religious Welfare Party (RP) achieved an unprecedented victory, but not an overall majority. The Democratic Left Party (DSP) also made significant gains at the expense of the CHP, which barely crossed the election barrier. The election was also the first time an openly Kurdish party – the People's Democracy Party – contested. It was the leading party in several provinces, but received no MPs due to missing the 10% electoral threshold.
Total votes and seats for each party
|Welfare Party (Refah Partisi - RP)||6,012,450||21.38||+4.50||158||+96|
|Motherland Party (Anavatan Partisi - ANAP)||5,527,288||19.65||-4.36||132||+17|
|True Path Party (Doğru Yol Partisi - DYP)||5,396,009||19.18||-7.85||135||-43|
|Democratic Left Party (Demokratik Sol Parti - DSP)||4,118,025||14.64||+3.89||76||+69|
|Republican People's Party (Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi - CHP)||3,011,076||10.71||-10.04||49||-39|
|Nationalist Movement Party (Milliyetçi Hareket Partisi - MHP)||2,301,343||8.18||0|
|People's Democracy Party (Halkın Demokrasi Partisi - HADEP)||1,171,623||4.17||0|
|New Democracy Movement (Yeni Demokrasi Hareketi - YDP)||133.889||0.48||0|
|Nation Party (Millet Partisi - MP)||127.630||0.45||0|
|Rebirth Party (Yeniden Doğuş Partisi - YDP)||95.484||0.34||0|
|Workers' Party (İşçi Partisi - İP)||61.428||0.22||0|
|New Party (Yeni Parti - YP)||36.853||0.13||0|
|No. of valid votes||28,126,993||100,00||550||0|
|*Sources: BBC Turkish Service and Turkish Parliament archives|
Coalition of Ordered government
Not since before the declaration of the republic had a blatantly religious party emerged as the largest political force in Turkey. There were fears of the secular armed forces refusing to accept the election result, perhaps even launching yet another coup. As a national debate waged, Tansu Çiller's government stayed on, eventually agreeing with Mesut Yılmaz's Motherland Party (ANAP) to form a minority coalition in March 1996, some three months after the election.
The ANAP-DYP coalition was toppled in an RP censure motion in June, forcing President Süleyman Demirel to choose between calling a fresh election or asking RP leader Necmettin Erbakan to form a government. He chose the latter, and the DYP switched allegiances to form Turkey's first Islamist government with the RP in June 1996.
The newly reformed CHP had withdrawn as junior partner of a four-year coalition with the DYP to contest an election on an agenda that boasted its Kemalist and centre-left history. The gamble turned out to be a disaster; far from returning to government, the CHP became the smallest party in parliament with a loss of nationalist votes to the MHP and left-wing votes to the DSP. The party's unpopularity led to its complete ejection from parliament in the next election.