ⓘ Workers Party of Turkey

Workers Party of Turkey

ⓘ Workers Party of Turkey

Workers Party of Turkey was a Turkish political party, founded the 13 February 1961. It became the first socialist party in Turkey to win representation in the national parliament. It was banned twice and eventually merged with the Communist Party of Turkey in 1987.


1. History

TIP was founded by a group of labour union members. The founders invited lawyer Mehmet Ali Aybar to assume the leadership of the party. Following Aybar, several intellectuals like Çetin Altan, Aziz Nesin and Yasar Kemal also joined the ranks and the party soon adopted a Marxist program.

The partys breakthrough came in the 1965 general election when it got 3% of the votes in the national elections and won 15 seats in the parliament. TIP deputies highly publicized active participation in parliamentary sessions contributed to a radicalisation of the political scene in the country. By 1967-68, militant left-wing student organizations and labour unions were formed.

In 1968, after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, Aybar adopted a rhetoric hostile to Soviet Communism. However, when TIP failed to increase its votes in the 1969 general election, Aybar resigned from the party leadership in November 1969 and Behice Boran, who had opposed Aybars anti-Soviet stand, was elected as the first female Turkish party leader.

After the military coup of 1971 the party criticized the government and supported strikes against the military coup. The government subsequently accused the TIP supporting the separation of the unity of Turkey, and for viewing the Kurds as a different ethnicity. A lawsuit was started on the 26 July 1971, the party banned in 1972. Boran and other senior TIP leaders, were arrested and sentenced between 12 to 15 years, imprisonment, the TIP delegates to 8 years. They were released following an amnesty in 1974 and re-established TIP the next year. But the party could not regain its popularity. In 1978 the Bahçelievler massacre saw seven student members of the TIP killed in Ankara by ultranationalists.

TIP was once again banned after the military coup in 1980. This time, Boran went to exile in Europe and the party continued to operate clandestinely. In 1987, it merged with the Communist Party of Turkey to form the United Communist Party of Turkey in Brussels.

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