Turkey's political history gives little hope for coalition

MERVE AYDOĞAN @mgulaydogan
Published 12.06.2015 21:06

The 25th Parliament is to start holding sessions after the announcement of the official election results from the Supreme Electoral Council (YSK), which is expected to be announced on June 20. Following the announcement of the official results, the Parliament's newly-elected deputies are expected to take their oaths on June 22, and the new coalition government is expected to be formed in early July. Throughout its political history Turkey has experienced 20 coalition governments, in which the longest lasted just three and a half years.

Turkey experienced its first coalition government in 1961, following shortly after the first Turkish coup d'état in 1960 orchestrated by Alparslan Türkeş – founder of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) – and ultimately led by General Cemal Gürsel. The 1961 coalition was formed on Nov. 20, 1961 by the Republican People's Party's (CHP) and the Justice Party (AP) following the Oct. 15, 1961 general elections. The first coalition in Turkey, which was heavily influenced by the military, was formed in nearly one month but only lasted seven months. With the failure of the first coalition government, Turkey then experienced its second coalition government in 1962. President Cemal Gürsel at the time assigned İsmet İnönü to form the new government on June 4, 1962. However, İnönü gave up forming the government on June 18 due to a lack of development in the process.

On June 24, the military forced the formation of a government where a coalition between the CHP, Republican Villagers Nation Party (CKMP), New Turkey Party (YTP) and independent deputies was formed on June 25, 1962. The second coalition government in Turkey also ended in late December of 1963 with the resignation of İnönü. In late December 1963, İnönü formed the third coalition government with the CHP and independent deputies within a two-day period. However, the third coalition government also did not last long, and ended after nearly two years on Feb. 20, 1965.

After nearly nine years, Turkey faced another coalition government, which was formed between the CHP and the National Salvation Party (MSP) on Jan. 26, 1974 after an interim government. The coalition government between the CHP and the MSP lasted until Nov. 17, 1974 but later failed and caused another coalition government on March 31, 1975 to be formed. The coalition government between the AP, the MSP, the MHP and the Republican Reliance Party (CGP) took nearly three and a half months to be formed and lasted until June 21, 1977. Following another failure of a coalition government, the sixth coalition government took almost one month to be formed on June 21, 1977 by the AP, the MSP and the MHP, and lasted only seven months until Jan. 5, 1978.

Turkey did not experience another coalition government until 1991, when the True Path Party (DYP) and the Social Democratic Populist Party (SHP) was formed within a one month period on Nov. 20, 1991 and lasted until 1993. The DYP and SHP formed another coalition government on June 25, 1993 until Oct. 5, 1995. Though the DYP and the CHP joined forces to form another coalition on Oct. 30, 1995 within a 25-day period, the coalition lasted for almost five months. With the collapse of the DYP, the CHP, the AP and the DYP formed a government shortly after the collapse of the previous government, but it only lasted for one month.

Prior to the arrival of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), Turkey experienced three more coalition governments with the first being the Welfare Party (RP) and the DYP on June 28, 1998, which lasted for one year. On June 30, 1997, the coalition government between the AP, Democratic Left Party (DSP) and the Democratic Turkey Party (DTP) was formed very shortly and is recorded as the longest lasting coalition government, which ended on Jan. 11, 1999, having lasted for three and a half years. With the 21st coalition government expected to be formed in the upcoming days, Turkey formed its 20th coalition government within four months on May 28, 1999 by the DSP, the MHP and the AP that ended on Nov. 18, 2002.

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