Parliamentary Chamber: Türkiye Büyük Millet Meclisi (T.B.M.M)


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  Türkiye Büyük Millet Meclisi (T.B.M.M)

Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  24 December 1995

Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats in Parliament following the premature dissolution of this body on 20 September 1995. General elections had previously been held in October 1991.

Background and outcome of elections:

  In May 1993, Prime Minister Süleyman Demirel was elected President of the Republic and replaced by Ms. Tansu Ciller, making her Turkey's first female to occupy this high post. On 20 September 1995, the ruling coalition comprising Ms. Ciller's True Path Party (DYP) and the Republican People's Party (CHP) collapsed over the major issue of the conservative DYP's economic austerity programme and amid a wave of strikes. A few days later, after initial resistance, the Prime Minister agreed to an early election date favoured by the centre-right Motherland Party (ANAP) headed by Mr. Mesut Yilmaz. On 15 October, the proposed new minority Government lost a parliamentary vote of confidence. In this context, the general elections due in 1996 were moved up to December and, on 31 October, President Demirel reappointed Ms. Ciller in a caretaker capacity at the head of a governing coalition which once again included the leftist CHP.

Twelve different parties fielded candidates in the campaign which opened in early December; all were secular groups except the pro-Islamic Welfare Party (RP or "Refah") led by Mr. Necmettin Erbakan. Major issues debated included the country's ailing economy (especially high inflation, national debt and interest rates) and, in the connection, a "just order" for the poor advocated by the RP; corruption of the mainstream parties, alleged by the RP; the endless and costly conflict with rebelling Kurdish separatists; and the personalities of Ms. Ciller and Mr. Yilmaz, who personally attacked each other.

On polling day, the fundamentalist Welfare Party emerged with a plurality (but far short of an absolute majority) of the enlarged Assembly's 550 seats (up from 450), thus becoming the first Moslem overall winner in the 72 years since a republic was established. DYP and the previously-ruling ANAP both came in second, the former in number of seats and the latter in percentage of vote. Analysts attributed this outcome to a massive protest vote against the traditional parties, especially the DYP held responsible for the serious economic situation, as well as to the splintering of the lay camp as a whole.

On this basis, formation of the next ruling coalition proved to be a veritable tug of war of negotiations, as the four leading secular parties (DYP, ANAP, CHP and the Democratic Left Party (DSP)) vowed to prevent the RP from sharing power - a stand vigorously denounced by Mr. Erbakan. Finally, on 4 March 1996, DYP and ANAP agreed on an alliance with the prime ministership to be rotated between the two parties' respective leaders. The new Cabinet was announced by Prime Minister Yilmaz two days later.

Round no 1 (24 December 1995): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 34,068,304
Voters 29,013,792 (85.16%)
Blank or invalid ballot papers 973,400
Valid votes 28,040,392

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Votes %
Welfare Party (RP) 5,980,352 21.33
True Path Party (DYP) 5,383,062 19.20
Motherland Party (ANAP) 5,514,240 19.67
Democratic Left Party (DSP) 4,108,203 14.65
Republican People's Party (CHP) 3,004,349 10.71
Others 4,050,186 14.44

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total Gain/Loss
Welfare Party (RP) 158 +96
True Path Party (DYP) 135 -43
Motherland Party (ANAP) 132 +17
Democratic Left Party (DSP) 76 +69
Republican People's Party (CHP) 49 -39
Others 0 -

  100 seats added since last elections

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 537
Women: 13

Distribution of seats according to age:  
30-35 years 15
35-45 years 185
45-55 years 234
55-65 years 90
65-75 years 26

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Copyright © 1995 Inter-Parliamentary Union