HISTORY OF THE REPUBLIC PERIOD
At the end of the World War I, the empires were scattered and instead new nation – states were founded. After the collapsing of the Ottoman Empire, The Republic of Turkey was founded as a nation – state. At the presidency of Atatürk, The Government of Great National Assembly had saved the land from the invasion of foreign forces with the Independence War and with the Lozan Treaty the existence of the new Turkish Republic was approved by the nations of the world.
The months following the Lozan Treaty had passed with the preparations of a new political formation. In order to take the leadership, the Cumhuriyet Halk Fırkası (Partisi) (National Republic Party) had been founded ( September 9,1923). Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was appointed for the presidency of the party. The military personnel who were in charge at the Independence War and the senior bureaucrats were appointed for the administration staff of the party. The party was defending the subjects like continuance of the national strife in a civilian medium, the modernization of the country and execution of the Western system, institutions and life style which was chosen as a model. In order to shape the government according to the democratic and modern facts declaration of Republic was realized in September 29,1923. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who was the great and successful leader of the national strife was elected to become the first President of the Turkish Republic by a unanimous vote. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk had appointed İsmet İnönü as the first Prime Minister. Four months later, the caliphate organization, which was not concordant with the principle of republicanism, was removed and the members of the Ottoman Dynasty were deported from the country. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was fully aware that for the foundation of a modern community, the religious and the governmental tasks should be separated from each other, so he had realized the most important social deviation by the principle of “secularism”. As the caliphate organization was removed, a series of severe reforms were realized at the associations bounded to this organization. Major steps in the subject of the Women Rights were realized. The marriage with several women was prohibited and the necessity of legal marriage was obliged. The law for divorcement right by the court is issued. Before most of the European countries, the women had attained the rights of election and electing for the municipalities in 1930, village elder committees in 1933 and TBMM in 1934. One of the major steps realized in the path of modernization was executed in the field of Turkish language. A new Turkish alphabet was prepared by the Ministry of National Education and the law suggesting the usage of Latin letters was approved by TBMM in November 1,1928. The former weight and length measures were changed in 1931.
The “Law of Surnames” was issued in June 21,1934, and the founder of the Turkish Government and Republic Mustafa Kemal had been granted the surname “Atatürk” by TBMM. He was now the ancestor of the entire Turks.
The endeavors for creating a modern country on the basis of secularism was reflected to the constitution level and with a modification in 1928, the “the religion of the Turkish Republic is Islam” verdict was removed from the constitution. In 1937, the verdict stating that the Turkey is a secular government was inscribed in the constitution. Atatürk has executed the evolutions under the leadership of the National Republic Party, which was founded as a party representing the entire nation, and he had inspired this evolutions and principles to the entire nation.
The Government of the Republic had adopted a model primarily based on private enterprises in order to develop the collapsed economy taken as a heritage but obliged to apply state control policy growing in time.
A foreign policy depending on peace and the borders of Milli Misak (National Borders) during the period of Atatürk. With the application of a successful diplomacy, Istanbul and Çanakkale Straits remained inside the national defense system (Montreux Treaty, 1936). With the Balkan (1934) and Sadabad (1937) pacts, the amity policy displayed towards the entire neighboring nations were widespread. Peaceful policies directed towards Europe and the utilization of the international conditions had allowed the reunification of Hatay, which was abandoned to the French before, with the motherland.
With all of his dynamism, strong intuitions, ability to truly calculate the power balances, the true evaluation of the inner and foreign conditions, Atatürk had passed away in November 10,1938 leaving big traces in the direction of the Western model behind. His descendant country had adopted his principles.
After the death of Atatürk, İsmet İnönü was elected to become the second President of the Turkish Republic. He was the “single chief” of his period as the President of the Government and the political party. He was in the service during the most depressed period of the world and Turkey. During his Prime Minister service, he tried to resist to the economic crisis of the world with the policy of state control. He attempted to improve the industry by the assistance of Public Financial Enterprises (KİT) and executed major reforms in this fact.
The most important achievement of İsmet İnönü was the success to exclude Turkey from the World War II. His policies concerning this fact were being executed in the ways of obtaining the balance between various powers at the same time and the securing this situation of the country in some directions. Turkey was invited to San Francisco Summit in March 5,1945 and was located among the countries founding the United Nations. Turkey had not participated to the World Wear II but was affected in negative way.
İnönü was a farsighted man of politics, so he could not be a mere spectator either to the winds of freedom and democracy starting to blow in the world after the World War II or to the social reactions aroused from the depressions of war. As a matter of fact, he talked about the necessity of the “liberalization of the regime” in 1945. And later, he vocalized “the necessity for an opposition party”. From this path he cleared he tolerantly watched the foundation of Demokrat Parti (Democrat Party) from the CHP, and in 1950 DP had gained the governmental power as a result of the countrywide elections.
DP who speaks in the favor of democracy and a liberal economy had developed rapidly, managed to participate to the General Assembly in1946 and to attain the power of government alone in the elections of May 14,1950. Thus the period of the single party in Turkey was ended and the first change of power by the vote of nation was realized. DP had increased the number of the votes in the 1954 elections, therefore riveted its status of power. Although the votes of the party had greatly decreased in 1957, the party had attained the status of power until 27 May 1960.
During his ten-year period of rulership, DP had brought a significant vigor to the economy and the daily life of the community. The economy expanded, the income of the people had increased and numerous villages had attained the services like roads, infrastructure and electricity. New cultivation fields were arranged, the mechanization in agriculture field was initiated, there was a significant increase in trade and major steps were taken in the field of Industry. The process of transference of foreign and commerce capital to industry had started.
After 1954, the public support to the DP government began to weaken and because of the political and economic factors in Turkey, the Turkish Armed Forces had seized the power in the morning of May 27,1960.
The Adalet Partisi (Justice Party) which effected the political life of Turkey between 1960 and 1970 was founded in February 11,1961. The retired full general Ragıp Gümüşpala was elected as the first general chairman of the party. After the death of Gümüşpala in 1964, The Government Water Processes Former General Director Süleyman Demirel was elected to the position of the General Chairman. The government period of AP between the years 1965 – 1971 was one of the brightest periods of Turkey in economic, social and political aspects.
The student actions and movements initiated in France in 1968 and spread throughout the world had entered to the agenda of Turkey from the first place by the end of 1960’s. These student actions initially had the characteristics of revolt against the education and examination system in universities but would gain the political and ideological content afterwards. The freedom medium of the 1960’s ended with the March 12,1971 memorandum. At the 1972 General Assembly, Ecevit and friends had stated their candidacy for the party administration against the group of İnönü. After the succession of the list of Ecevit, İnönü had resigned from the general director position, deputy position and CHP membership. At the urgent assembly of the extraordinary General Assembly, Ecevit was elected for the position of General Chairman. A new period was started for CHP. In the 1973 elections, CHP had gathered the highest vote amount. After long negotiations CHP General Chairman Ecevit had established a coalition government with the Milli Selamet Partisi (National Security Party) (MSP) displaying the Islamic movements. Although this extraordinary coalition had resulted in some positive outcomes, the effects of petroleum crisis occurring throughout the world had been reflected to Turkey.
After the stroke of ENOSIS against the Makarios government in Cyprus in 1974 June, Turkey was forced to use its rights of guarantorship arising from the London Treaty and 1960 Cyprus Constitution and had executed a military intervention against the island. In this period, the economic problems become much heavier. The basic nutriment materials, petroleum and gas were out of stock. The queues and the black market begin to exist. Although the January 24,Decisions issued by the Demirel government had positive consequences in the short term, the terror actions continued. In order to continue the liberation and economic stability programs initiated with the 24 January Decisions, the Anavatan Parti (Motherland Party) (ANAP) was founded by the demand of power. The parties to participate the 6 November 1983 elections was ANAP, MDP and HP and ANAP was elected with the vote ratio of 45.1 percent and attained the power alone. The first ANAP government was founded in 13 December at the presidency of Turgut Özal.
ANAP had attained the power alone in the 1983 elections under the presidency of Turgut Özal and continued the succession of being in power in the 1987 elections. The most important characteristic of the Özal Period was the transformation of the economy into a brand new direction with the brave and resolute reforms. Özal had described this liberal transformation as “Big Transformation”, and in this transformation the Law of Preserving The Value of the Turkish Money and the foreign exchange regime was totally altered, the import and export policies become free, the “free exchange rate system” in foreign exchange was adopted. A new economic model granting priority to exportation replaced the “import establishment” model, which is an economic model closed to the foreign countries. The most important development in the foreign policy was the relative improvement of the relations with the European countries. As a matter of fact, the European Committee Consultation Council had accepted the participation of Turkish parliamentary to this committee in May 1984. In addition, Turkey had attained a neutral policy during the war of Iran and Iraq and therefore the trade relations with these countries had improved in positive way. The income obtained from export and tourism processes had greatly increased in this period as a result of the increasing interaction of Turkey with the countries of Middle East and Europe.
After the separation of the Soviet United Nations in 1991, Turkey had improved its relations with the recent Independent Central Asian Republics as a result of the enterprises executed by President Özal and the government. Therefore, the new horizons for Turkey of being a “Regional government” had been set. The Black Sea Economic Cooperation, which became an institution by a summit meeting in June1992 and including the total area of Black Sea Basin as the Caucasia and Balkans had increased the importance of Turkey in the Region. Turkey had also played an important and active role in the subjects of Bosnia – Herzigova and Somali.
After the death of Turgut Özal in April 17,1993, Süleyman Demirel was elected to the position of the President of the Turkish Republic. As a result of the power of the coalition governments of various political parties between the years 1993 – 2000 the political structure had gained a new multi dimensional structure. After the formation of this particular new political intellect assisting the settlement of democracy culture in the country, Turkey had taken major steps among the path leading to the European Community.