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Nationalist Movement Party (MHP Milliyetçi Hareket Partisi)

The Nationalist Movement Party (also translated as 'Nationalist Action Party') (Milliyetçi Hareket Partisi (MHP)), is an ultra-nationalist - conservative political party in Turkey. In the July 22nd, 2007 legislative elections, the party won 14.3% of the national vote and 71 seats in the parliament. In the previous legislative elections of Nov. 3, 2002 the party gained no seats as it had only won 8.3% of the national vote.

When it comes to recognizing minority rights MHP stands where all fascist parties stand - total denial of all rights to non-Turks. In a country of more than twenty three ethnic groups MHP represents the Turkish supremacism. The leadership by individuals such as Devlet Bahceli and Mehmet Sandir has focused on defending unitary state and a Turkish identity encompassing all of Turkey's citizens in the face of demands for a federal state reflecting regional ethnic differences It maintains consistent support among the electorate (especially in Central Anatolia), and has been on good terms with the Turkish Establishment due to its emphasis on a national identity that had been proposed by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk to replace tribal, sectarian, and ethnic allegiances that had been prevalent in Anatolia during the Ottoman Empire.

The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) is an old and long-established political party in Turkish politics. Turkish Nationalism has been represented by various political parties with different names in the political arena. One of the pioneers among these political parties was The Republican Peasants' Nation Party (CKMP), which was founded by Osman Bölükbasi, under the leadership of Alparslan Türkes in 1965. At Adana City Congress in 1969, the name of the CKMP was decided as The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and its emblem as three crescents. Regardless of its rich mental background, neither the CKMP nor the MHP was successful at the general elections in 1965, 1969, and 1973 and therefore they were considerably not able to have a voice at the assembly. For many years the MHP did not have significant potential in Turkish politics.

The nationalist ideas of the thinkers at the MHP like Dündar Taser (1925-1972) and S. Ahmet Arvasi (1932-1988), who prioritized the national and the culture of the nation and highlighted that the Islam spirit vitalizes the body of Turks rather than Nihal Atsiz's Turkism without Islam, found the opportunity to spread among the Muslim young in Anatolia.

With September 12, 1980 coup d'état, the MHP and nationalists entered a troubling era. Many supporters of the MHP chose to do politics in the Motherland Party (ANAP) in the 1980s. Between 1995 and 1999, disagreement between the general politics of the RP and the expectations of people during this process made the MHP an alternative for conservative and right-wing people. In the local and general elections held in 1999 the MHP, even surprising the MHP supporters, had %18 of all votes and became the second powerful party to be represented in the Parliamentary. Supported by the conservatives with great expectations, the MHP became a part of the DSP-ANAP administration, which governed the country. During this period, the MHP did not do anything for the issues concerning the conservative groups like the wearing of the headscarf. Thus the MHP lost the support of the conservative groups in an extremely short time.

With its position in the Parliamentary after the 2007 elections in the shade of the elections for presidency, the MHP overcame the crisis of presidential elections and supported solving the headscarf problem. Therefore, the MHP partially proved that it had taken a lesson from the past and had got the message of the people.

On July 24, 2007, 35,804,716 people out of the 42.527,063 registered electorate voted, which made the turnout 84.19 percent. around 5 percent higher than in the 2002 elections. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) received 46.49 percent of the votes with 340 seats, while the Republican People's Party (CHP) 20.89 percent of votes with 112 deputies. The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) entered Parliament after a gap of five years with 71 seats and 14.28 percent of the votes.




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