The Dynamics Preparing the Birth of Justice and Development Party (1980 – 2002)

The Dynamics Preparing the Birth of Justice and Development Party (1980 – 2002)


In this study, Justice and Development Party’s (JDP) rise to power will be investigated. The period between 1980 – 2002 will be scrutinized so as to trace the processes that made possible JDP’s establishment and road to political power. Throughout this period, Republic of Turkey underwent two coup d’etats, two economic crises, two earthquakes, which their aftermath impacted the country as deeply as economic crises and three important developments in the international arena. The repercussions of these events not only shaped this period but also can be seen clearly today in contemporary Turkish political life.

Each military intervention reconstituted the political arena and its actors either directly or indirectly and never ceased to exist as an essential constituent part of the political life throughout this period. While some political actors tried to use these interventions for their benefits, others resisted the political arena, which was established by these very interventions. Yet the processes showed the failures of the political engineering projects launched by these interventions. Instead of favoring the military bureaucratic state, voters strengthened the politics, which based on civil society.

With the end of the Cold War era, the structure of the Turkish politics transformed into identity politics, leaving behind the traditional right and left wing conflicts, which had been occupying the political sphere.


The focus of this study will be on the constituent character of these interventions, the ways in which political actors positioned themselves under these circumstances, impacts of the international dynamics and the economic crises’ effects on the political structure through this era and finally the complex process of the JDP’s establishment and path towards the political power.

On 12th of September 1980, Turkish Armed Forces took over the government. The parliament and the government were annulled by the armed forces and followed the declaration of martial law. From this day onward, up until 6th of November 1983, the Republic of Turkey was ruled by Chief of Staff and National Security Council (NSC) whose members consisted of commanders of chiefs of armed forces. Between these dates there were no elected parliament and a government. Executive and legislative powers rested in the NSC, although there were a government and parliament whose members appointed by the very NSC.

On the 12th of September, as the president of the NSC, General Kenan Evren broadcasted the official declaration of the military coup. In this declaration, Evren stated that military intervention was necessary due to several reasons. These were increment of the activities of the separatist factions, increment of the threats to the well-being and security of the citizens of Republic of Turkey, rising popularity of reactionary ideas instead of Kemalism and risk of civil war and separation. (Milliyet, 12 September 1980)

In the second half of the 1970s, already existing ideological polarization in the country rapidly escalated to the point that armed conflagrations were quite common. Especially in universities, the conflict between right and left wing organizations resulted with numerous causalities. Since these events were wide-spread, initial public reaction to the military intervention was quite positive and NSC had the public support.

One of the most important impacts of the military intervention was on the Turkish political life. This impact was not only confined to the period of martial law, between 12th of September 1980 to 6th of November 1983, but also persisted up until the early 2000s. A close look to the effects of military on the Turkish political life will show its direct and indirect impacts continuously. Military’s continuous existence in the Turkish political life resulted with another military intervention at 28th of February 1997. This post-modern coup d’etat was quite different from its predecessors, concerning the means that were used in the process. Yet its consequences led the Turkish political life into a different direction from what had been initially aimed.

This study investigates the specified period in detail, focusing on the military interventions, the economic and social problems caused by economic crises and earthquakes, domestic and international developments. As a result of this chronological investigation the dynamics that founded and carried the JDP in 2002 elections into power would be revealed.

I. Turkish Political Life under the Shadow of the Military Intervention

A. 12 September Coup and Reshaping of Political Life

Before 12 September, there were four main parties that were represented in the parliament. These parties were –according to their number of seats in the parliament; Republican People’s Party (RPP), Justice Party (JP), National Salvation Party (NSP) and Nationalist Action Party (NAP). NSC overruled these parties and transferred all of their assets to state treasury. Chairpersons of these four parties were arrested and NAP’s and NSP’s chairpersons imprisoned after their trails.

In 1982 a new constitution was drafted (named after the year) for the purpose of transition from martial law to civil rule. This new constitution was voted for by the citizens in a general referendum and passed with a 91.37% public approval. NSC drafted a new law on the regulation and formation of political parties and also on election regulations. The most important one of these regulations was the new electoral threshold. According to new regulations, the threshold for the parties to be represented in the parliament was now 10%. Any party who fails to gain votes less than 10% nation-wide, would not be eligible for having members in the parliament. The second crucial change was the electoral district threshold. According to this regulation, those parties who gets lower than 25% votes in an electoral district, would not be able to appoint a member of parliament for that district.

On the other hand, new restrictions and regulations were put into motion by the NSC for the new parties, which were going to be part of the 6th of November 1983 general elections. First, the chairpersons and high ranking officials of the pre-coup parties were banned from political life, which means they were not allowed to run for offices. Second, it was forbidden to form new parties with the same name of the parties that were active in politics before the coup. Although 17 different parties formed in 1983, only three of these parties were allowed to run for election (Ahmad, 2006:223). These parties were, Nationalist Democratic Party (NDP), which its chairperson was Turgut Sunalp, People’s Party (PP), chairperson of which was Necdet Calp and Motherland Party (MP), chairperson of which was Turgut Özal. The first two parties, NDP and PP formed by the NSC, and the MP was formed with the permission of NSC.

Evidently, military intervention of 12  September was dedicated to re-constituting the political structure in the country. To this end, the coup aimed to eliminate the remnants of the pre-coup politics, by banning all the former parties and their previous chairpersons. In addition to these, NSC also dictated the ways in which political life can actively function by only allowing three parties to run in elections. Kenan Evren openly supported NDP, which was one of the three parties established by the coup. The ways in which the new electoral law and political structures in general constituted was aimed for the prevention of pre-1980s conflicts in political life. 10% threshold was brought, in order to avoid coalition governments, the representation of far right and left parties in the parliament and eventually, the establishment of a two-party system in the country (Turan, 2004:124-130).

NSC allowed only three parties to enter into the electoral race among the 17 parties, all of which were formed in 1983. Many chairpersons of the remaining 14 parties protested the decision, even found support from the members of the three parties that were recognized by the NSC. The council even actively dictated who can and cannot be members of these parties. The goal of the military intervention was the re-establishing a new political life while eliminating pre-coup political actors and parties. Re-constituting the political life, erasing the old political traditions and habits and prevention of emergence of the far-right and far left parties were the main priorities of the NSC. The results of the 1983 elections showed that NSC quite successfully established the grounds with their vision for the political life in the Republic of Turkey.

B. Downfall of 12 September Rule’s Goals

1. The “Exit Guarantees” of the Military Rule

Military rule came to an end with 1983 elections, after NSC established the 1982 Constitution and laws regarding the arrangement of political parties. Although NSC officially assigned a civil government to political power, this transfer was not as smooth as it was expected, especially when one takes into consideration that NSC overrode civil government and parliament through the armed forces, suspended the democratic regime and extended this period to three years long lawless rule. Now with a civil government in power, democratic institutions and rule of law will be restored, the period of martial law and the ones who were responsible could be judged by the legal institutions. In other words, the ones who were responsible from the military intervention were under an enormous risk and they were aware of this situation. Because of this risk, the process of stepping down from power included “exit guarantees” (Yazıcı, 1997:24-42). These guarantees are also protected by the 1982 Constitution.

According to the new constitution, president of the NSC and President of the State, Kenan Evren appointed as the new President of the Republic of Turkey for a seven year term (Constitution Temporary Article 1) with the approval of the new constitution by referendum. Other members of the NSC were also titled as members of the Presidential Council (Const Temporary Article 2). With the new constitution any possibility of trial for the members of NSC, coup governments and the Advisory Council was prevented, any form of legal action indicating that these members could be held accountable for their previous actions was legally overruled (Constitution Temporary Article 15). As a result, several accusations regarding the involvement of these people in corruption scandals have never been issued by any legal institutions (t24,9 June 2015).

Another means that were used for expanding and preserving the military as an active force in the political life was a new institution, which was established for the post-coup politics. This institutional establishment was entitled as National Security Board (NSB) (Constitution, Article 118). Members of the board consist of Chief of Staff, Commanders of Chiefs of Armed forces, President, Prime Minister, Ministers of Defense and Foreign Affairs. While five out of nine members of the board consist from military officials only four of them are non-military bureaucrats. As evident in 28th of February 1997 post-modern coup d’etat, this board was actively involved in politics almost a quarter of a century.

As previously mentioned; attempts of re-arranging the political life in Turkey should also be evaluated as exit guarantees.

In time, these guarantees expired. Although former members of NSC transferred themselves into civil politics, with constitutional limitations they had to step down from their constitutionally protected positions. In 2001 NSB underwent a transformation with the inclusion of deputy prime-ministers into the board. With this increase in number of civil servants in the board, the structure of the board leaned more towards the civil government. And finally in 2010 the temporary constitutional article 15 was nullified, which protected former NSC members from any form of legal action. With this, remaining members of the council were put into the trails.

2. Military Rule and Security Problem

Against all these attempts of re-constituting the political life, social dynamics prevented this project of political engineering. Not only military rule of 12th of September failed to establish a new political order but also fell short of its very reason to exist: preventing the internal conflicts and security problems. In their brief reign, military rule persecuted, arrested, victimized, tortured and even sentenced to death penalty thousands of citizens. It can be easily said that security of the citizens was jeopardized even more compared to the pre-coup era. With the military rule, basic rights and liberties of the citizens were suspended and repression on individual liberties increased. In this period 178,565 citizens were taken into custody, 64.505 of them arrested, and among these people 41,727 of them were imprisoned. Among these people that were arrested, 326 of them were sentenced to death and 25 of them were executed. Through the series of trials, for 3,600 citizens death penalty was demanded. In only one year 18,000 bureaucrats were punished by courts. Many academics and public servants expelled from their positions with no legal basis by the state of emergency officials (Turan, 2004:120). Detainees and people who got arrested were subjected to torture. This bleak picture was presented as the consequences of saving the country from right and left wing conflicts.

Throughout the military rule, terrorism remained as a constant problem[i]. With many unidentified murders and series of events, Post-1980 Turkey was clearly not a safer Turkey compared to pre-coup Turkey.[ii]

Briefly after the end of the military rule Turkey started to experience a new wave of conflicts caused by PKK, which will be exhausted the country extensively and much deeper than the military rule. PKK have founded in 1978 and moved its headquarters abroad after the 1980’s coup. In this period, PKK organized its ranks and demonstrated its first act in Şemdinli and Eruh at the same time in 15th of August 1984 Hürriyet, 18 Ağustos 1984:1, Milliyet, 11 Ekim 1984:1, Hürriyet, 22 Haziran 1987:1, Tercüman, 10 Temmuz 1987:1). From that date onwards, PKK became one of the most significant problems of Republic of Turkey and impacted domestic and international politics deeply. PKK remains as a crucial problem in contemporary Turkey.

II. Political Developments after Military Interventions

A. The Eradication of September 12th Politicians and Parties

1983 elections shown that what military regime planned for the future of Turkish political life started to crumble at the very early stages of transition to civil politics. NDP, which was favored by the NSC could not become the majority government but also it became last in the elections by receiving the least number of votes. Instead MP became the new head of the civil government. In the 25th of March 1984 local elections, the two parties formed by NSC received 5.4% (MP) and 8.7% (PP) of the votes. While former merged with the MP in 4th of May 1986 the latter party merged with Social Democrat Party (SDP) and formed the Social Democratic People’s Party (SDPP) in 3rd of November 1985. As a result, both of the creations of the military rule in Turkish political life erased from the scene (Yücel, 2006:54-56, 69). In this process chairpersons of NDP and PP, Turgut Sunalp and Nevdet Calp were also erased from the political life with many members of their parties.

The third party that emerged from 12 September, MP continued to win elections and became the majority government in parliament in two general elections (1983, 1987) and one local election (1984) while there was a decrement in the votes they were receiving throughout this period. Yet in the fourth election in 26th of March 1989, MP became the third party and finally in 1991 elections they lost their position in the government. 1990s eventually erased all the parties formed by the 12th of September military rule. Founder and chairperson of the MP, Turgut Özal became the President with the majority of votes from the parliament members in the last term of his party. As the 8th President of the Republic of Turkey he lost his life in 17th of April 1993 because of a heart attack after seeing his party lost in the election (Sabah,18 Nisan 1993:1).

In the years that followed, MP struggled in the political arena. In the second half of the 1990s although it became part of several coalition governments, continuously lost its influence and relevance. Finally on 31th of October 2009 MP merged with Democrat Party (DP) and the last party crafted by the 12th of September military rule came to an end.

B. Return of the Banned Parties and Political

1. Süleyman Demirel and the True Path Party

The first mile stone for the return of the banned political parties and actors in the political scenery was the 1982 Constitution and the Law on Political Parties. With the establishment of new parties and their active participation in elections paved the way for the banned politicians and parties. The second step was the referendum in 6th of September 1987, which lifted the ban on political actors. Third and last phase to this process was the legal configuration in 19th of June 1992 that allowed re-opening the parties, which were banned with the same name (Akşin, 2007:292).

Political actors who were close to Süleyman Demirel, the chairperson of Justice Party (JP) and the Prime-minister, and banned from politics for 10 years after the 12th of September military intervention, formed the Great Turkey Party (GTP) in 20th of May 1983 (Cumhuriyet, 21 Mayıs 1983:1). Because of the involvement of many former JP members in the formation of GTP, on 26th of July 1983 GTP was Closed down by NSC. Süleyman Demirel who has foreseen the NSC’s possible acts on GTP, formed the True Path Party (TPP) on 23rd of June 1983. By the decision of NSC, TPP was not allowed to take part in 1983 elections. But in the 25th of March 1984 local elections, TPP manage to gain 13.25% of the votes. After the removal of the political ban on Süleyman Demirel in 1987 referendum, deputy chairperson of the TPP, Hüsammetin Cindoruk stepped aside and Demirel became the chairperson of the party. With Demirel’s directive, in 29th of November 1987 general elections TPP gained 19.1% of the votes and gained seats in the parliament. In the next local elections, on 26th of November 1989, it became the second party after SDPP, and managed to gain more votes than MP. Finally in 20th of October 1991 elections became the first party with the 27% of the votes, formed a coalition government with the third party, SDPP, which gained 20.8% of the votes and banned politician of 12 September, Süleyman Demirel became the prime minister. In 1993, after the death of President Özal, he became the President of Republic of Turkey. By the constitutional rights invested in the President, Demirel also earned the title of Chief Commander. This was the final step of transformation from the military rule to civil government since every party and political actors of the military rule were erased from the political scenery and means of intervention of the military greatly weakened (Hale, 1996:242).

After Süleyman Demirel’s election as the President, Tansu Çiller became the chairperson of TPP and the prime minister. As a result of the populist policies, in early 1994 Turkey experienced economic crises. By April the exchange rate of U.S dollar doubled its rate compared to January. Outcomes of this crisis were severe: Inflation reached three digit numbers, decrement in production, and erosion in prices and increment in unemployment rates. On 5th of April government decided to cut public spending and issued additional taxes. These measures had negative response from public. Also these measures could not prevent the enormous governmental deficit (Yentürk, 2005:144-145). Under the direction of Tansu Çiller, TPP lost public support throughout 1990s and finally in 2002 elections could not manage to have seats in the parliament.

2. Bülent Ecevit and the Democratic Left Party

As one of the prime ministers of the 1970s and also one of the banned political actors of 12th of September military rule, Bülent Ecevit had already resigned from the position of chairperson of RPP before it was banned in 16th of September 1981. In that period, it was not clear that Ecevit was going to follow a new strategy ora politics that wouldn’t be harmed by fractions and cliques (Yücel, 2006:81). Thus he was no longer affiliated with RPP and formed a new way of political movement. With his wife Raşhan Ecevit on his side as the chairperson, he formed the Democratic Left Party (DLP) on 14th of November 1985 with 620 members. Since the party was a late comer to the newly established parties in the post-coup Turkey, it was not able to run for offices in 1983 and 1984 elections. With the removals of political bans, in 13th of September 1987 he became the chairperson of the DLP. In 1987 elections the party gained 8.5% of the votes and in 1989 9.03% of the votes. Finally in 20th of October 1991 elections the party managed to exceed the 10% threshold and earned seven seats in the parliament. In the 1994 local elections DLP lost 2% of its vote but still managed to increase its votes to 14.6% in 1995 elections and also increased its seats in the parliament to 76. In 18th of April 1999 general elections, the party managed to gain 22.2% of the votes and became the first party with 136 seats and formed a coalition government with Motherland Party and Nationalist Action Party. With this development, banned politician of the 1980 military rule, Bülent Ecevit became the Prime-Minister. After a struggling period, in 2000s DLP could not manage to take any seats in parliament and on 5th of November 2006 DLP chairperson, Bülent Ecevit passed away.

3.Alparslan Türkeş and Nationalist Action Party

With the approval of yet another banned political actor Alparslan Türkeş, chairperson of Nationalist Action Party, Mehmet Pamak founded Conservative Party (CP) in 7th of July 1983. MP, which could not manage to run in the 1983 elections and experienced several changes in the position of chairperson, changed its name on 30th of November 1985 as the Nationalist Task Party (NTP). On 4th of October 1987, Alparlsan Türkeş became the chairperson of the party. NTP gained 2.9% of the votes in 1987 elections. In the next elections, 1989, these numbers increased to 4.2%. In 1991 general elections, NTP entered the race under the Welfare Party (WP). This alliance gained 16.9% of the votes and after the election 19 of the members returned to their party, NTP. On 24th of January 1993, party’s name was changed into Nationalist Action Party. In 1994 elections NAP managed to gain 8% of the votes and in 1995 it gained 8.2% of the votes and remained under the electoral threshold. After the death of Alparslan Türkeş on 4th of April 1997, in 18th of May 1999 elections, it received 18% of the votes and 129 seats in the parliament. As the second party of the election, NAC joined the DLP-NAC-MP coalition under the Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit. Although NAC could not manage to exceed the threshold in 2002 elections, in the following elections always managed to have seats in the parliament.

4.Legal Kurdish Political Movement

As previously mentioned, military rule was eager to prevent existence of far right and left parties in the parliament. Yet not after even a decade passed, NAC and SP started to be represented in the early 1990s in the parliament and increased their public support.

PKK, the illegal Kurdish political movement, was founded before the 1980 coup and organized its ranks throughout the military regime. On the other hand, legal Kurdish political movement was founded on the basis of Kurdish identity in order to affect and change the official state politics (Yayman, 2011:153) on the Kurdish issue in 1990s and impacted political life in Turkey deeply. It is evident that the very fractions and movements, which tried to be eliminated by the military rule survived and even gained more power. In 1990s and 2000s, the legal Kurdish political movement (LKPM) entered both general and local elections either with parties or as independent candidates and received efficient results. “LKPM is one of the inseparable parts of the Kurdish political movement, but it is not the constituent element in this movement; LKPM is usually subjected to illegal (Abdullah Öcalan and high ranking officials of PKK) semi-legal (Democratic Society Congress) and its chairpersons, have not produced any criticism against these persons and institutions and failed to determine and constitute the movement in any way” (Çakır, 2011:5). Division and struggle for power among these legal, illegal and semi-legal fractions were also reflected upon the political parties emerged from the movement. For the first time a political movement represented not by a chairperson but two co-chairpersons. Thus the last political representative of the Kurdish movement, Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) is run by two co-chairpersons. One of them is Selahattin Demirtaş and the other one is Figen Yüksekdağ.

What meant by LKPM is the political parties founded by the Kurdish political movement. Although Çakır considered this movement as legal and conceptualized as LKPM, Constitutional Court often disagreed with this idea. Starting from the first party formed by LKPM, People’s Labor Party (PLP) on 7th of June 1990, there have been seven different parties and many of these banned by the Constitutional Court due to the decision that they were not operating within the legal framework. Banning parties is a highly occurring phenomena in Turkey. Between 1923 and 2006, 228 different parties founded and 178 of them banned, leaving the average life span of a political party at 4.77 years (Kaynar, 2007: 39, 399). On the other hand some of the parliament members’ political immunities were suspended and many of these members were arrested. Today in contemporary Turkey, history repeats itself and one of most debated issues is removal of the immunities of Kurdish members of the parliaments. Although LKPM faced with many legal obstacles and party bans, the movement that started with PLP, continued its journey with Democracy Party (DP), People’s Democracy Party (PDP), Democratic People’s Party (DPP), Democratic Society Party (DSP) and finally Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP). Although the movement faced with debates on its legitimacy, with its large cluster of voters, continue to exist in an efficient way on a legal ground.

5.Necmettin Erbakan and Welfare Party – Virtue Party

Chairperson of the National Salvation Party who was banned and imprisoned by the 12  September military rule (Hürriyet, 16 Ekim 1980:1), Necmettin Erbakan founded the Welfare Party on 19th of July 1983. Party, which was not able to participate in 1983 elections, gained 4.4% of the votes in 1984 election. On 6th of September 1987, after the removal of bans on politicians, Necmettin Erbakan became the chairperson of WP. In the years followed, WP gained 7.2% of the votes in 1987 elections and 9.8% in 1989 elections and closed the gap between their votes and electoral threshold. On 20th of September 1991 general elections, WP took NTP and Reformist Democracy Party (RDP) under its wings and gained 16.9% of the votes and 62 seats in the parliament. Among these 62 members, 19 of them transferred to NTP and 3 of them to RDP, WP shown strong opposition in the parliament with its remaining 40 seats.

While the government was shaken by the economic crises, because of its efficient opposition in the parliament, WP gained important number of local governments in İstanbul and Ankara in the 1994 local elections and increased its votes in the general election of 1995 to 21.4% and became the first party in elections. After the three months long MP – TPP coalition government, between 28th of June 1996 and 30th of June 1997, Necmettin Erbakan served as the prime minister under the WP-TPP coalition.

Welfare Path government (WP-TPP coalition) was remembered by the public quite positively with its economic policies in a decade, which marked by political instability, military interventions, terrorism,, party bans, unidentified and mass murders, natural disasters and economic crises. Especially because of the economic crises that occurred before the Welfare Path government in 1994 and recession of the economy considerably due to the earthquake and economic crises in 1999 and 2001, Welfare Path government and Prime Minister Erbakan seemed quite successful. Basis of these economic policies was the increment of the welfare of different income groups in the society. The agricultural payments to the farmers and villagers were increased, prices of products bought from farmers –especially grains- increased 100%, pensions for retired bureaucrats increased 116%, retired workers’ pensions increased 121%, minimum wage increased 101% and worker payments increased 103%. These increments in the salaries and pensions helped an economic growth between two crises. In 1997, with the increment of gross national product reached to 8.3%, which was the highest rate between 1991-2000 (DPT, 2007:4). Although these policies increased the public spending, lowest rates of inflation recorded -with 78% increment in consumer price index- in between June 1996 – June 1997 between the 1994 and 1997 economic crises. While the government’s economic policies continued to function, public perceived the civil and military attempts to topple Welfare Path government, in which Welfare Party was the major partner, as attempts to harm their own interests.


III. The military intervention of 28 February 1997

A. Post Modern Military Intervention

The Welfare Party (WP) – True Path Party (TPP) government whose public support extended especially due to their economic policies encountered a post-modern military intervention on 28th February 2007. On the day of February 28th, after a tense 9-hour meeting led by the President Süleyman Demirel the National Security Council (NSC) which had a majority of military members published a notice with 4 articles ‘that was evaluated as a warning having the characteristics of a journal to the government in terms of secularism’ (Cumhuriyet, 1st March 1997).

Developments such as Sincan’s mayor belonging to WP organizing a remembrance night under the name ‘Jerusalem Night’- which might be viewed as an ordinary incident nowadays – and Iran’s ambassador’s participation there, the prime minister Erbakan giving a fast-breaking meal in the prime minister’s residence in which cult leaders have also participated, have transformed into motives for the 28th of February. In the NSC meeting dated 28th of February, a ‘regime problem’ dialogue started for the first time between the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and the government. The most important of the decisions of 28th February was the 8-year uninterrupted primary education topic which was foreseeing the lifting of the middle part of the imam hatip high schools. Based on the NSC decision in question, the military asked the government to make some regulations, later on as the TAF started a series of ‘briefing’, it was told to the sections such as prosecutor and judges, faculties, and the press that the reaction arose to first priority within components such as PKK, which are threatening national security and that the danger of the reaction has expanded up to some Islamic holdings (Kongar, 2003, 280-288).

In this period the General Staff expressed that ‘it will use even weapons to fight against the reaction which is trying to destroy the Turkish Republic if required’ (Hürriyet, 12 June 1997, 1). In fact, the military did not remove the parliament and the government directly from work as in the past interventions. In other words, the post-modern coup that took place on the 28th of February 1997 was different from the others. In the previous coups, the military had seized power by armed forces, the general assembly was dissolved, the politicians were arrested, the Constitution was rewritten (Bayram, 2008, 162). And now the press being at the first place, the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TUCCE), the Chamber of Artisans, the Chamber of Agriculture and the Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions which are named as the ‘four horsemen of the apocalypse’, the chairmen, the capital environment, universities and jurisdiction were heavily criticizing or trying to take steps that would leave the government in the lurch in general, and the Welfare Party in private. In fact, a closure case was opened about the Welfare Party in the Constitutional Court. Istanbul’s and Kayseri’s metropolitan municipality mayors being in the first place, many Welfare Party members started to go on trial and got punishments.

From the other side following different threats, orientations and encouragements, the government partner TPP’s deputies started to resign. At the end of this process the number of deputies in TPP decreased from 135 to 98. The effort that those who were close to the president Süleyman Demirel put for the fragmentation of the TPP, the fact that those deputies went to join the Democrat Turkey Party (DTP), a new party established by Hüsamettin Cindoruk, part of those who resigned being close to Demirel and some of them being ministers in the Motherland Party (MP)-Democratic Left Party (DLP)-DTP government established after the WP-TPP government was demolished, was leading to suspicions that the resignations could have taken place with the directions of the president. The reason for that could be that the chairman of TPP Tansu Çiller was siding against the previous chairman Demirel. More importantly, Demirel who was thinking to get back to politics after his presidency, had to block Erbakan’s way (Erandaç, 22 February 2012).

In this environment Erbakan had aimed for the continuation of the coalition in the condition of leaving the prime ministry to the coalition partner TPP’s Chairman Tansu Çiller. Erbakan submitted his resignation and a document signed by 278 deputies that supported this formula to President Demirel. However, Süleyman Demirel gave the task to establish the government to the Motherland Party chairman Mesut Yılmaz. Mesut Yılmaz formed the MT-DLP-DTP coalition government that was supported by the Republican People’s Party (RPP) from the outside, in the meantime resignations from the TPP continued and Yılmaz’s government received a vote of confidence from the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (GNAT) (Kongar, 2003, 290-294). In this way the parties in the parliament were divided into two groups: on the one hand WP and TPP which were moved away from the government by the 28th February intervention, on the other hand MT-DLP-DTP supported by RPP from the outside that became a government by benefiting from this intervention process and while in government tried to implement the 28 February decisions of the military. In other words, on the one side WP and TPP carrying out politics by prioritizing the public’s reflex, on the other hand there were other parties which were doing politics that were more sensitive to the military and the civil bureaucratic government reflex. However, TPP could not stay robust in this period and it lost its prestige as a high number of its deputies had resigned. WP that was followed closely and with increasing support by the public was closed with the effect of the postmodern intervention. The party which was formed on behalf of the WP, the Virtue Party (VP) could not escape being closed down either. While all that was going on was dividing parties as the ones sensitive to the public’s reflexes or to military-civil bureaucratic government reflexes, the Justice and Development Party (JDP), which was formed as the continuation of the two parties that were closed, was going to leave its mark on the 2000s Turkish politics. The period of 28th of February was still continuing in the beginnings of the 2000s. Judgment processes, press headlines, the belief that the veil would destroy secularism, the operating results coming from all public enterprises in a certain interval to the prime ministry undersecretary who was conducting the coordination of the reaction action plan are a clear indicator of that.

WP was closed on 16.01.1998 by the decision of the Constitutional Court as a part of the 28 February process and a 5-year political ban was brought to seven people including the chairman Necmettin Erbakan (Resmi Gazete, 22 February 1998: 31-348). The justification for the party’s closure was that it was the focus of movements against secularism. However, there was a legal difficulty to achieve this decision. According to the law, it was possible for the movements against secularism to be treated strongly by party members only through tacitly or explicitly being proved assimilated by the party’s big congress, central decision and board of directors or group assembly of the GNAT or this group’s board of directors (Siyasi Partiler Kanunu, m.101/2). To overcome this difficulty, the Supreme Court first truly cancelled the aforementioned article, and then decided to close it (Alkım Yayınları, 1998: 1-6). WP published the 421 pages long defense principle about the closing case as a book (Refah Partisi, 1997).

The members of the WP continued their way with the Virtue Party (VP) which they founded in 17.02.1997 just before their closure. This new party was again to be closed by the Supreme Court in 2001.

The 1990s were also the years in which the parties formed by the Legal Kurdish Political Movement (LKPM) were often closed. This situation brought up arguments whether it was right or wrong that political parties were closed in a developed democracy. In Europe the examples of political party closures are very limited (Özbudun, 2006:63). However the supreme court of appeals prosecutor Vural Savaş who has filed a claim about closing the WP and VP to the Supreme Court, has used the ‘militant democracy’ concept in his views for essence in the file he claimed about closing VP as often an excuse to party closure (Savaş, 1999:32).

B. The Effects of Frequent Party Closures to Politics

Political parties being closed due to military coups and other reasons, has been another important obstacle in front of Turkey’s party system institutionalization other than sociologic and electoral system reasons (Akgün, 2007:67-70). In a democratic country, parties have very important duties. Those include political socialization and political recruitment. Political socialization is the learning of the roles in the political system, the adoption of the political culture and its prosecution period by people; political recruitment tells the procedure of the selection of those people who will execute the different roles within the political system. The military interventions’ (and surely party closures with different reasons) effect on political socialization and political recruitment is undeniable (Özbudun, 1974:98-110). So it is clear that it has led to serious disconnections in socialization, and that it has prevented the durability of the party alignments (Çarkoğlu,  Erdem and Kabasakal, 2000:40).

In the roots of the negativity observed in the running of the democratic institutions and the functions of the political parties in our country, lies the fact that political parties do not have the continuation to find the opportunity from inner dynamics to their development.

Developments have clearly showed that the closed parties have been re-formed by another name and have not disappeared. Actually the votes of the closed parties have not always gone down, sometimes those periods have made the concerned parties even stronger. And this situation could develop in a way to damage the democracy in the last analysis (Sarıbay, 2001:92). Indeed, the parties belonging to the Kurdish political movement who possessed the 4-6% vote band would finally reach the vote potential to make the cut in 2015. The ‘National Vision’ tradition parties have increased their votes in every election within their closure process, and became the party which has received the higher number of votes in the 1995 elections and finally in the 2000s the JDP became the ‘dominant party’ (Özbudun, 1974:114) which was born from this tradition, the other parties could not even have the characteristics of ‘party gifted to majority’ (Duverger, 1974:368-369) against it.

Another important point is the compaction of the politicians or the voters of the often closed parties, of the conscience to own the identity that is represented by the party. So the drawing ahead of the identity conscience in the party’s grassroots or ceiling, has contributed to the formation of a party system based on Turkey’s identity conflicts. With the termination of the Cold War, the dissociation between left and right parties based on labor capital conflicts has slowly yielded to parties based on identity conflicts in Turkey and in the world (Turan, 2004:153). In the 2000s’ Turkey, the JDP’s is doing politics by representing religion identity, RPP secularism identity, Nationalist Movement Party (NMP) Turkish nationalism, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Kurdish nationalism. Here the main conflict points related to religion is between JDP and RPP, in terms of nationalism between NMP and PDP. The conflict point between NMP and PDP is clear.

The main conflict point between JDP and RPP is being shaped around the perception of religion and the sense of threat against secularism. These two sections have prioritized different concepts and have participated to different political socialization processes and have also historically been mutually in a perception of threat. Because what we see in Turkey is not similar to the priests fighting and giving their lives for the revolution struggle alongside the leftists in Latin America (Aykut, 2011:429). Furthermore if we set the Hikmet Kıvılcımlı example aside, while in the left tradition in Turkey, the understanding of religion and lifestyles of worker mass is being ignored, the parallelism between the understanding of religion and the left ideals of the oppressed were not taken into consideration (Demirer, 2011:413,422). This dissociation has turned nowadays to mean that a party coming from left tradition and a party that does politics based on religious statements are parties which are representing two opposing identities. Such that the NMP spokesman needed a defense as ‘they would press against us because we would have chosen a man from a party without religion and without belief’ (Hürriyet, 8 July 2015) to tell why they did not support the RPP’s candidate for the speakership.

Military interventions or party closures could not allow making an important internal change neither in the ‘National Vision’ parties nor in the LKPM parties. Even though change was observed in the party programs of VP and JDP, this change has only aimed to overcome the oppressions that were lived. Thus the JDP and VP did not give up from the veil insistence that is seen by the military and civil bureaucratic government as an act against secularism, it has lifted all bans on this subject and it has made impossible to close a party. LKPM has not ruptured its bonds with the illegal Kurdish political movement, and has obtained important gains from the Kurdish issue. In reality the ‘established order’ could not make an internal transformation in these two political movements, on the contrary the government was transformed with all its institutions.

C. The governments after 28th of February

After the 54th government of Erbakan has come to an end, the 55th government of Mesut Yılmaz was formed. This was a MP-DLP-DTP coalition supported by RPP from the exterior. The requests that the military wanted to get done by the Erbakan government about the fight against reaction was being fulfilled by this government. And it was kept in mind as a government which was formed by parties which have taken side with post-modern military intervention. This government has come to an end on 11.09.1999 with the interpellation that was given because of corruption claims oriented at MP. After prime minister Mesut Yılmaz’s resignation on 25th November 1998 because of his interpellation, a long time went by in search of a government and finally a minority government was formed with Ecevit being the prime minister and the exterior support of MP and TPP (Zaman, 12 January 1999:1).

This event has led to Ecevit and DLP to get stronger. Because the WP – VP deputies were striving on the one hand with the closing of WP and on the other hand with the establishment of VP, none of the other parties that were present in the Assembly could form the government and by giving the prime ministry to Bülent Ecevit they have made DLP, which has come out of the elections as the fourth party and which has only 76 deputies, the only ruler. In a sense MP, TPP and RPP have given the ‘we are not trustable, we do not have the condition to lead the country, here is Ecevit, and here is DLP’s message to the population. Fortune (and global will) smiled again on Ecevit and his party before the 18 April 1999 elections. The leader of the PKK terrorist organization Abdullah Öcalan was deported from Syria, and went to Russia, Italy, then Greece and finally to Kenya (Akşin, 2007:304-305) and was captured by the US in Kenya’s capital Nairobi and was delivered to Turkey (Hürriyet, 17 February 1999). As the nationalist feelings hit a record high with this incident, Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit, who has made his party the only ruler with 76 deputies, became a hero. In the meantime, the VP that  was formed by the closure of WP planned to decrease their votes by thinking of the continuing 28th of February process to be overcome and has messed with the ‘splinter movement’ that received big reaction from the public.

In these conditions, the results of 18 April 1999 general parliamentary election were not a surprise. DLP received 22.2%, NMP who was left out of the assembly in the previous period received 18%, VP 15.4%, MP 13.2%, TPP 12% of the votes, and RPP was left out of the Assembly. Bülent Ecevit has formed the 57th government that was made of the DLP–NMP-MP coalition (Neziroğlu and Yılmaz, 2013:7875). This government has continued up until the 2002 elections.

For Bülent Ecevit and DLP which had a quite luck period between 1995 and 1999, the period between 1999 and 2002 went with big distress starting with serious health problems. And these unfavorable conditions have prepared the ground for a new party to come to power in the 2002 elections.


A. Political developments

Right after the 18th of April 1999 elections Merve Kavakçı who was elected as deputy from the Virtue Party by being veiled started to be the center of heavy discussions in the political backstage. The consideration that Kavakçı has participated to the GNAT general assembly with a veil as the first veiled deputy in the history of the Turkish Republic was in contradiction to the secular republic principles gained in power. Merve Kavakçı came to the GNAT veiled but left the assembly without making a vow due to Bülent Ecevit’s and DLP’s brutal reactions. The Prime Minister Ecevit talked over the assembly seat as ‘teach that women her place’. The newspapers gave headlines such as ‘the provocation did not hold’ (Radikal, 3rd May 1999: 1). Later on Merve Kavakçı’s deputyship was relegated with the excuse that she was a US citizen.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was WP’s Istanbul metropolitan mayor, being put on trial in Diyarbakır DGM not because of the corruption documents but because of the speech he gave in Siirt on 6 December 1997 and being sentenced to prison for ten months (Hürriyet, 22 April 1998:1) the dropping of his mayorship and his imprisonment for 4 months have created a big atmosphere of victimization in the party grassroots and the majority of the voters.

VP who was formed to replace  WP which was closed previously by the supreme court was again closed by the same court with the excuse that it was the focus of the acts against secularism in a similar way (Hürriyet, 23 June 2001: 1). However differently from WP, the most important indication in VP’s closure excuse was the veil act against secularism. The veil bans that were continued severely in universities and public institutions, the dropping of Merve Kavakçı’s deputyship, the closing of WP and VP, the following of the reaction action plan and acts against secularism on the country level and on several dimensions, was disturbing not only the religious voters in Turkey but also a numerous citizen mass. The public opinion surveys that were done at that time showed that. While the liberation of the turban in universities was found favorable by 65.3% of the population, those who did not agree constituted 28.1% (ANAR, May 2001). In another survey while 71.7% of the population did not approve the prohibition of entrance of veiled students to university exams, those who approved were only 23.4% (ANAR, October 2000).

After the closing of VP, the deputies who belonged to this party separated into two groups and at the end of this process there were two different parties that were represented in the GNAT. If we express it by the way of naming during that period, there was the party which was formed by the traditionalists Felicity Party and the party that was formed by innovators JDP.

The day of 5 May 2000, GNAT elected Ahmet Necdet Sezer ‘Turkey’s first president which doesn’t belong to any party and doesn’t have any rank’ (Hürriyet, 6 May 2000:1).

Towards the 2002 elections, Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit was unable to control the ministers and the deputies from the party due to his advancing age and his long lasting illness. Many ministers and deputies resigned from the party, notably Hüsamettin Özkan the person he trusted the most (Posta, 9 July 2002: 1). Those who left formed the New Turkey Party (NTP) in the leadership of İsmail Cem. In this case DLP became the government’s smallest partner. Vice Prime Minister Devlet Bahçeli told on 7th of July that the elections could take place the 3rd of November 2002 (Akşin, 2007: 312). In this way before the Ecevit government, which had lost the majority in the assembly, had given up the duty, Turkey was driven away quickly to the first election of the 21st century.

B. US’s contact with the Ecevit government before its occupation of Iraq

After the attacks oriented to the US starting from the 11th September dated twin towers attack, the US started first to work to its Kaide heavy goals from Afghanistan through operations (Takvim, 8 October 2001:1). Later on the US which had targeted Saddam Hussein and Iraq, intensified its contacts with Turkey in search for cooperation with Ecevit’s government in its last year. For instance, the US’s defense vice-minister Paul Wolfowitz suggested the creation of secret meeting channels by coming to Ankara on 16-17 July 2002, the Foreign Affairs Ministry undersecretary Uğur Ziyal went to Washington on 26th of August 2002 and met with the US vice president Cheney, the Prime Minister Bush’s National Security Consultant Rice, the Defense minister Rumsfeld and his assistant Wolfowitz. From the US’s new requests transmitted to the Turkish general staff in the context of a probable Iraq operation, there were requests which could not be accepted such as the deployment of 80.000 American military personnel in Turkey (Bila, 2004:171-185).

It was understood that the Ecevit government would not go into complete cooperation with the US in an eventual Iraq operation. Hence while Ecevit transferred the prime ministry duty to Abdullah Gül on 19th of November 2002, he came up with three recommendations: 1) never enter war in Iraq 2) do not give Karpaz in Cyprus 3) absolutely pursue the economic program. While the Ecevit government was leaving, Ankara’s tendency about Iraq was closed to US’s option of the ‘north front’. It was to stand against the deployment of 80 thousand US soldiers in Turkey, and to 14 airports and 5 ports being assigned to US soldiers. The Ecevit government qualified the requests as unacceptable (Bila, 2004:192). In this case, the US’s way to achieve complete alliance about the Iraq operation, could take place only with the eventual JDP government which was to be established after the election.

C.The Marmara and Düzce-Bolu earthquakes

An earthquake occurred which shook the politics as heavily as the earthquake of the day of 17 August 1999 towards the small hours around 03.02 whose epicenter was İzmit and intensity 7.4 (Sabah, 17 August 1999:1). After this miserable incident which occupied headlines for months, the fact that newspapers gave the number of those being pulled from the wreckage as 14.474 and the number of those being still under the wreckage as 30 thousand (Star, 21 August 1999:1) shows clearly how big of a psychological, sociologic, economic and political shake the Marmara earthquake has generated.

Before the wounds of the Marmara earthquake were dressed a second earthquake occurred the day of 12 November 1999 at night with the intensity of 7.2 and Bolu-Düzce epicenter (Takvim, 13 November 1999: 1).

The earthquakes had hit Turkey’s industrial zones. Thus Turkey’s economic shrank by a ratio of 6.1% in 1999 (DPT, 2007: 4). This has created exactly the effect of an economic crisis.

The demolition of Turkey’s industrial zones has impacted the whole of Turkey economically. The government has come up with special communication taxes and special transaction taxes to meet the earthquake expenditure. In this way additional taxes were collected as much as the previous year’s corporation tax (Turan, 2004:265). The taxpayers who were already affected by the economic shrinking felt uncomfortable with this application. And politically it was the ruler parties (DLP-NMP-MP) which were the most hurt by all these problems.

D.The 2001 Economic Crisis

Politics has always been affected by economic crises. The military coup of 12th of September 1980 came after the 1978 economic crisis and the 24th of January 1980 economic program. After that Süleyman Demirel became President Tansu Çiller who was the chairman of TPP and the Prime Minister could not protect the votes of her party due to the 1994 crisis and economic problems related to that. Finally, in the NSC meeting that has taken place the 19th of February 2001 the dispute between the president Ahmet Necdet Sezer and the Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit turned the markets upside down. The stock exchange went down the fastest in its history and the equities lost 14.6% in value. The overnight repo interest which was around 40% skyrocketed to 760%. When banks attacked foreign currency there were suddenly 5.1 billion dollars foreign currency taken out by the central bank. Bond interests increased to 110% (Posta, 20 February 2001: 1). There was a transfer from fixed rate system to flexible exchange rate system and the dollar increased by 30% (Posta, 23 February 2001: 1). This was the biggest financial crisis Turkey had ever lived (Kazgan, 2005: 231).

All the more amazing, ‘the man who will save Turkey, the man who everyone declared will reinvigorate the economy’ as told by the newspapers 10 days after the crisis, World Bank vice president Kemal Derviş came to Ankara. At that time the Ecevit government was implementing the IMF program. The 1999 crisis came up as the result of a pretentious ‘inflation decreasing’ program which was implemented by compromising with the IMF (Özel, 2005:149). After the collapse of the US patented economical politics the retrieval of Kemal Derviş from the US to save the economy again was interesting.

The program implemented by Kemal Derviş was named ‘transition to the strong economy program’. Actually this program was intended to increase exports and diminish imports in the short term. It did not have the characteristic to bring in the competitiveness and to abolish the main reason for crises in Turkey which is foreign trade deficit for good over the long term (Yentürk, 2005:72-82). Just before receiving the short term results of this economic program, when the ruler parties needed to gain time for a new election, the fact that they decided having an early election, was making it impossible for them to come out successful out of those elections.

As indicated above, Turkey was implementing the IMF program when the 2001 crisis broke out. Moreover, the crisis occurred because of this program. As Eğilmez reflected, the IMF had prevented the Central Bank to provide the necessary liquidity to the markets. If the necessary liquidity was given to the market the coming out of this crisis could be inhibited or its cost would not reach that level. In the end because of this IMF policy many banks went bankrupt and there was a big collapse in economy.

Whereas in the 2008 crisis the US Central Bank, FED, organized rescue operations oriented to banks in partnership with the treasury. The European central banks also took similar steps. While all these operations were happening, the IMF stated that it was supporting rescue operations. So the IMF who was against the giving of liquidity to the market, who suggested that rescue operations aimed at banks would create ethic collapse when it came to Turkey, was this time defending the exact opposite in a similar subject (Eğilmez, 2009: 78-80). So as the IMF policies closed numerous banks in Turkey in 2001, it had rescued the US and European banks in the 2008 crisis. To tell the truth the current IMF policies in Turkey had led to crisis, deepened the crisis that came up and caused many banks to go bankrupt and to be liquidated by being transferred to the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (SDIF). These developments did not only affect those who had deposits in banks but also workplaces which were using credit, the workers have lost their job in the closing or shrinking workplaces or they have been exposed to wage reductions. The increasing costs of the banks that were transferred to the SDIF have affected the quantity and quality of public services. This type of process has worn out both the ruler and the parliamentary, and has made stronger the public’s search for new politics.


E. The 2002 General Parliamentary Elections

The 3rd of November 2000 was made the first election of the 2000s. The result was interesting. None of the parties which received votes over the 10% threshold and which took out deputies in the 1999 elections were represented in the assembly in the 2002 elections. DLP, NMP, VP, MP and TPP were no longer in the Assembly. RPP who could not be represented in the GNAT in the 1999-2002 period took out 178 deputies with %19.4 of the votes. More importantly, JDP which was participating to the elections for the first time whose chairman was Recep Tayyip Erdoğan banned from politics, became ruler on its own with 34.3% of the votes and 363 deputies. And there were now only two parties in the Assembly.

JDP, after VP’s closure by the Supreme Court, was one of the two parties which was formed by that party’s deputies and members.

The interesting part of the 2002 elections, was that the Young Party which was formed the 23rd of August 2002 only 70 days after the 3rd of November elections and whose chairman is a media boss achieved a high vote ratio such as 7.2% although it could not pass over the election threshold. The vote that the Young party received caused TPP (9.5%), NMP (8.4%) and MP (5.1%) to stay under the threshold and allowed JDP to be the ruler on its own.

Another party who entered the elections for the first time Democratic People’s Party (DPP) got 6.2% of the votes, the highest votes that a Kurdish party received up to that time. As it is seen the total votes of the parties that were established instead of the closed ones (JDP, Felicity Party, DPP) adds up to 43%. The votes of the parties that entered the elections for the first time exceeded 50% and the vote share of the parties that could not be represented in the assembly after the elections was 46.3% (T.C. Başbakanlık, 2004:100–101). To tell the truth the public had shown its reaction to the party closing static reflex with the election results. Due to the veil prohibition starting in universities and public institutions as part of the continuing the 28 February process, and to economic problems related to the crisis and earthquakes, the public has completely renewed the politics through the 2002 elections.

In this process the US had the belief that a ruler had acceded with whom it could make complete cooperation in the Iraq occupation.


The period that was analyzed shows that even after the transition to multi-party political life, the rules and traditions have not settled down and that politics is tried to be built up again. Those who suspended the democratic civil movement through military intervention, have abolished the constitution, cancelled the political parties, the parliament and the government and while doing that believed that they made a rightful attempt. The most interesting part is that the public has accepted this intervention and possibly has given it legitimization. The acceptation of the 1983 constitution prepared by those who have done the military intervention and which provides them very important exit guarantees with 91.37% of the votes by the public, the Motherland Party formed by Turgut Özal who took charge in the Bülent Ulusu government assigned by the military junta and who was doing vice prime ministry being the only ruler after the military government, and which marked the 1980s should be accepted as the indication of the rightfulness assigned by the public.

This landscape shows how meaningful is the difference that comes out in the development of democracy in the West and in Turkey. In Europe there is a battle for democracy which has a centuries-long history starting with Magna Carta, which is the result of public movements related to limit the authority of the king in 1215. Whereas in Turkey there are democratic institutions that do not have centuries long past that the military and civil bureaucrats were trying to put into place without any societal requests right from the beginning. This is the reason why the public in Turkey did not resist against anti-democratic developments with democratic reactions and acts to assume the possession of democratic institutions and principles which were not the product of its own battle. For three years, the public has not forced the military government to pass to the civil government, that to be put in front of the ballot boxes. It has waited silently without giving any reaction. However, when the rulers have put the ballot box, it has showed that it takes sides with civil politics not with bureaucratic government politics. It has always punished those who sided with the bureaucratic state in the elections. Hence public has not supported politicians which are supported by the 1980 and 1997 postmodern military intervention or those who tried to benefit from this anti-democratic intervention but rather supported those politicians and parties which took sides with civil politics. The 1980s and 1990s were periods in which the military interventions shaped the Turkish political life.

The 12th of September 1980 was a direct and the 28th of February 1997 was a postmodern military intervention. However, these interventions could not put pressure on the societal dynamics. Hence in the end of the 1980s we see either the disappearance or the declination of the 12th of September parties. The politicians and political movements from pre 1980 that were tried to be destroyed by the 12th of September showed up again and shaped the future of Turkish politics. The political movement based on the ‘National Vision’ tradition which the 28th of February intervention tried to destroy continued its way by getting stronger despite two of its parties being closed down and the political bans and pressures it was exposed to. The structure of the 2000s with JDP came up as the result of the military interventions of the past and became effective.

Political developments could not be interpreted based on only one factor. There are many effects that reveal a certain result and there are complex relations between them. Thus it is clear that during the period we have analyzed the 1994 and 2001 economic crises, the Marmara and Düzce earthquakes that have deepened the economic and social problems had a strong effect on the vote potential of the parties.

It is also impossible to claim that Turkish politics is independent from global effects. Starting from military interventions, economic crises and the policies to get out of the crisis with the direct guidance of the IMF cannot be counted as independent from the external dynamics. Also it is clear that with the ending of the Cold War era in the beginning of the 1990s the political parties in Turkey together with the effects of other factors have obtained qualification based on identity conflict, the US’s capture of Abdullah Öcalan in Nairobi and delivery to Turkey determined the results of the 1999 elections, the US’s expectations from Turkey linked to the occupation of Iraq affected the legal developments before and during the 2002 elections.

Zeynep Beyza Şener, Postgraduate Student, Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Hacettepe University 

Please cite this publication as follows:

Şener, Z. B. (November, 2016), “The Dynamics Preparing the Birth of Justice and Development Party (1980 – 2002)”, Vol. V, Issue 11, pp.24 – 50, Centre for Policy and Research on Turkey (ResearchTurkey), London, Research Turkey. (


[i] Diyarbakır uçağı kaçırılmış (the Diyarbakır plane was hijacked) (Milliyet, 14 October 1980:1), ASALA terör örgütünün Türk diplomatlara yönelik katliamları devam etmiştir (the ASALA terror organization’s massacre against the Turkish diplomats continued) (Hürriyet,18 December 1980:1, Tercüman,29 January 1982:1, Hürriyet,9 April 1982:1, Tercüman,6 May 1982:1, Tercüman, 8 June 1982:1, Hürriyet,8 Agust 1982:1, Tercüman,10 September 1982:1, Hürriyet,10 March 1983:1, Cumhuriyet,15 July 1983:1, Milliyet,16 July 1983:1).

[ii] Sinagog katliamı (the synagogue massacre) (Cumhuriyet, 7 September 1986:1), Muammer Aksoy (Milliyet 1 February 1990:1), Çetin Emeç (Hürriyet, 8 March 1990:1), Bahriye Üçok (Türkiye, 7 October 1990:1), Uğur Mumcu (Cumhuriyet, 25 January 1993:1), Jandarma Genel Komutanı Eşref Bitlis (Commander of the Turkish gendarmerie forces Eşref Bitlis) (Cumhuriyet, 18 February 1993:1), Özdemir Sabancı (Akşam,10 January 1996:1), Sivas olayları (Sivas incidents) (Sabah, 3 July 1993:1).


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Hürriyet, (22 April 1998), “Siyasi hayatı bitebilir Tayyip’e şok ceza”. (Shocking punishment to Tayyip His Political Life might end)

Hürriyet, (17 February 1999), “Ve Apo yakalandı İşte büyük Türkiye ZAFER” (and APO got arrested VICTORY)

Hürriyet, (6 May 2000), “Partisiz, rütbesiz, ilk CUMHURBAŞKANI”. (First PRESIDENT without any party or rank)


Hürriyet, (8 July 2015). Available at:

İktidarda 1 Yıl 28 Haziran 1996-30 Haziran 1997 (1 year as a ruler 28 June 1996-30 June 1997 ), Uyum Ajans, Ankara.

Kaynar, Mete Kaan (2007), Cumhuriyet Dönemi Siyasi Partileri (1923-2006) (Political Parties of the Republic Period) İmge Kitapevi, Ankara.

Kazgan, Gülten (2005), Türkiye Ekonomisinde Krizler (1929 – 2001) Ekonomi Politik Açısından Bir İrdeleme (Crises in Turkish Economy (1929 – 2001) an examination from the Economy Politic standpoint), İstanbul Bilgi Üniversitesi Yayınları, İstanbul.

Kongar, Emre (2003), 21. Yüzyılda Türkiye 2000’li Yıllarda Türkiye’nin Toplumsal Yapısı (Turkey in the 21st Century Turkey’s Societal Structure in the 2000s), 32nd Edition, Remzi Kitapevi, İstanbul.

Milliyet, (12 September 1980), “Silahlı Kuvvetler Yönetime El Koydu”. (Armed forces have seized power)



Milliyet, (11 October 1984), “Hakkari’de 8 şehit daha azdılar…”. (8 more martyrs in Hakkari)

Milliyet, (1 February 1990), “12 Eylül öncesini hatırlatan suikast Prof. Aksoy’u öldürdüler”. (assassination that reminds of the time before 12 of september they killed Prof. Aksoy)

Neziroğlu, İrfan-Tuncer Yılmaz (2013), Hükümetler – Programları ve Genel Kurul Görüşmeleri (Governments – their programs and General Assembly meeting), Cilt 10, TBMM Yayınları, Ankara. Available at:

Özbudun, Ergun, (1974), Siyasal Partiler (Political Parties), Sosyal Bilimler Derneği Yayınları, Ankara.

Özbudun, Ergun (2006), “Siyasi Parti Kapatma Davalarında Türk Anayasa Mahkemesi ile Avrupa İnsan Hakları Mahkemesi Arasındaki Yaklaşım Farkı” (the difference of approach between the Turkish constitutional court and the European Human Rights Court about the Political Party Closure Cases), Uluslararası Sempozyum 26-27 Mayıs 2005 Siyasi Partiler Ve Demokrasi (International Sympozium 26-27 May 2005 Political Parties and Democracy), (Editor: Turkish Bar Association and Ankara Bar), Ankara.

Özel, Saruhan (2005), Global Finansal Krizler (Global Financial Crises), Deniz Kültür Yayınları, İstanbul.

Posta (20 February 2001), “LÜTFEN SAĞDUYU” (PLEASE COMMON SENSE).

Posta (23 February 2001), “FAKİRLEŞTİK”. (WE BECAME POOR)

Posta (9 July 2002), “DSP’de deprem BU NE SEVGİ AH !”. (Earthquake in DSP WHAT TYPE OF LOVE IS THİS)

Radikal (3 May 1999), “Kavakçı TBMM’ye türbanla geldi ama yemin edemeden ayrıldı Tahrik tutmadı”. (Kavakçı came to GNAT veiled but left without making a vow)

Refah Partisi (1997), Esas Hakkında Savunma (Defense about the Principle), Ankara.

Resmi Gazete, (22 February 1998:31-348)

Sabah, (3 July 1993), “KANLI CUMA 35 ÖLÜ”. (BLOODY FRIDAY 35 DEATHS)

Sabah, (18 April 1993), “Bir ışık söndü”.(a light died out)

Sabah, (17 August 1999), “DEPREM”.(EARTHQUAKE)

Sarıbay, Ali Yaşar (2001), Türkiye’de Demokrasi ve Politik Partiler (Democracy in Turkey and Political Parties), Alfa Yayınları, İstanbul.

Savaş, Vural (1999), Fazilet Partisi Esas Hakkında Görüş (Fazilet Party View about Principle)

Star, (21 August 1999), “45 BİN ÖLÜ”. (45 THOUSAND DEATHS)

t24, (9 July 2015), “En zengin general yolsuzluk iddiaları için hâkim karşısına çıkarılamadı”.(the richest general could not be brought to justice because of corruption allegations)  Available at:,302346

Takvim, (13 November 1999), “Merkez üssü: Düzce YÜZLERCE ÖLÜ VAR DEPREM”. (Epicentre: Düzce THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF DEAD EARTHQUAKE)

Takvim, (8 October 2001) “YENİ SAVAŞ BAŞLADI!”. (NEW WAR HAS STARTED)

TBMM (1999 ve 2007), Seçim Kanunları ve Siyasi Partiler Kanunu (Election Laws and the Law for the Political Parties), Ankara.

TBMM Kanunlar ve Kararlar Müdürlüğü (GNAT Rules and Overseers of Decisions) (2011), Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Anayasası ve Türkiye Büyük Millet Meclisi İçtüzüğü (Turkish Republic Constitution and house regulations of the GNAT), Ankara.

T.C. Başbakanlık Devlet İstatistik Enstitüsü (2004), Cumhuriyet’ten Günümüze Milletvekili Seçimleri 1923-2002 (Deputy Elections from the Republic to Nowadays 1923-2002), Ankara.

Tercüman, (29 January 1982), “BİR DİPLOMATIMIZ DAHA KATLEDİLDİ Dünya için yüzkarası” (ANOTHER ONE OF OUR DIPLOMATS WAS ASSASINATED Disgrace for the World).

Tercüman, (6 May 1982), “Boston fahri konsolosumuz şehit edildi.” (Honorary consol of Boston was martyred)


Tercüman, (10 September 1982), “Bu defa da Burgaz’da öldük, KAHROLUYORUZ”. (And this time we died in Burgaz. We are in grief)

Tercüman, (10 July 1987), “Bölücü eşkıya 5 koldan saldırdı Yine kahpece: 30 şehit”. (Attack from 5 arms from Divider bandit ficklely: 30 martyrs)

Turan, Ali Eşref (2004), Türkiye’de Seçmen Davranışı Önceki Kırılmalar ve 2002 Seçimi (Voter Behaviour in Turkey: Fractures Before and During the 2002 Elections), İstanbul Bilgi Üniversitesi Yayınları, İstanbul.

Türkiye, (7 October 1990), “Bahriye Üçok’a bombalı SUİKAST!”.(Bomb ASSASINATION to Bahriye Üçok!)

Türkiye, (5 April 1997), “ACI KAYIP”. (SAD LOSS)

Yayman, Hüseyin (2011), “2000’li Yıllarda Barış ve Demokrasi Partisi” (the Peace and Democracy Party in 2000s), Türkiye’de Siyasi Partiler (Political Parties in Turkey), (editor: Hatem Ete), Meydan Yayınları, İstanbul

Yazıcı, Serap (1997), Türkiye’de Askeri Müdahalelerin Anayasal Etkileri (Constitutional Effects of the Military Intervention in Turkey), Yetkin Yayınları, Ankara.

Yentürk, Nurhan (2005), Körlerin Yürüyüşü Türkiye Ekonomisi ve 1990 Sonrası Krizler (The Walk of the Deaths the Turkish Economy and the Crises after 1990), 2. Baskı, İstanbul Bilgi Üniversitesi Yayınları, İstanbul.

YSK, 1983 – 2009 Genel Seçim Sonuçları: Kesin Sonuçlar. (General Election Results: Exact Results) Available at:

Yücel, M. Serhan (2006), Türkiye’nin Siyasal Partileri (1859-2006) (Turkey’s Political Parties (1852-2006)), Alfa Yayınları, İstanbul.

Zaman, (12 January 1999), “Ecevit DSP azınlık hükümetinin listesini Köşk’e sundu Hükümet tamam”. (Ecevit has offered the DLP minority government to the Mansion the Government is OK).



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