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Turkey: Democratic Left Party
Country Study > Chapter 4 > Government and Politics > Political Dynamics > Political Parties > Democratic Left Party


The Democratic Left Party, known by the Turkish acronym DSP (for Demokratik Sol Partisi), was the smallest parliamentary party in January 1995. Because the party received almost 11 percent of the vote in the 1991 elections, DSP leader Bülent Ecevit and six other party officials took seats in the National Assembly. Ecevit considered the DSP the legitimate successor to the CHP, which he headed prior to the 1980 coup. When the DSP was founded in November 1985 -- with Ecevit's wife serving as chair because he remained barred from political activity -- Ecevit made known his low opinion of the SHP, which also presented itself as the heir to the CHP, and its leader, Erdal Inönü. Ecevit's personal animosity toward Inönü prevented DSP-SHP cooperation, even though the parties had similar programs and appealed to the same constituency. In both 1987 and 1991, Ecevit spurned efforts by Inönü and other SHP leaders to persuade him to join an electoral alliance. Ecevit condemned the SHP's participation in the Demirel and Çiller governments as evidence that the party had abandoned social-democratic principles and betrayed the working class.

Data as of January 1995

Last Updated: January 1995

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Turkey was first published in 1995. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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