Adnan Menderes, Islam, and His Conflict with the One-Party Era Establishment
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In May 1950, Adnan Menderes’ Democratic Party (DP) won a preponderant victory at the first free elections held in Turkey. Menderes also proved an overwhelming success at the elections in 1954 and 1957. His advent to power marked a watershed in the history of the Turkish nation-state, because it soon proved a serious challenge to the monopoly of Atatürk’s old guard on state and society. The DP prevailed by mobilizing the peasants, the bulk of the population constituting approximately 80 percent of all Turks. This means that these victories to a wide extent were secured by the votes of those who had been excluded—or suppressed—by the Kemalist reforms. As it was only twenty-five years earlier that Atatürk had launched his sweeping campaign against the Ottoman order and the institutions of Islam, this leaves the impression that a strong undercurrent of resistance or immunity to the Kemalist reforms survived almost three decades of one-party rule.
KeywordsArmed Force Democratic Party Religious Instruction Political Purpose Constitutional Court
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