Turkish general election, 1995

Turkish general election, 1995
December 24, 1995

Total of 550 seats of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey
276 seats were needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
Leader Necmettin Erbakan Tansu Çiller Mesut Yılmaz
Party Welfare DYP ANAP
Leader since 11 October 1987 13 June 1993 15 June 1991
Leader's seat Konya Istanbul Rize
Last election 62 seats, 16.87% 178 seats, 27.03% 115 seats, 24.01%
Seats won 158 135 132
Seat change Increase 96 Decrease 43 Increase 17
Popular vote 6,012,450 5,396,009 5,527,288
Percentage 21.38% 19.18% 19.65%
Swing Increase 4.50% Decrease 7.85% Decrease 4.36%

  Fourth party Fifth party
Leader Bülent Ecevit Deniz Baykal
Party Democratic Left CHP
Leader since 15 January 1989 9 September 1992
Leader's seat Istanbul Antalya
Last election 7 seats, 10.74% 88 seats, 20.75%
Seats won 76 49
Seat change Increase 69 Decrease 39
Popular vote 4,118,025 3,011,076
Percentage 14.64% 10.71%
Swing Increase 3.89% Decrease 10.04%

Winners according to provinces:
     RP        DYP        ANAP        DSP        CHP        HADEP

Prime Minister before election

Tansu Çiller

Elected Prime Minister

Tansu Çiller

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

Parties Votes Seats
No. %  +− % No. +−
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
Independents 133,895 0.48 +0.35 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
Invalid votes 974,476  
Total votes 29,101,469
Electorate size 34,155,981
Voter turnout 85.5%
*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.

CHP decline

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.

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