Gül is the fifth civilian president of Turkish Republic

The report, prepared by the Turkish Grand National Assembly Research Center on the presidential elections, states that five presidents were civilians and the remaining six former members of the military.

Gül is the fifth civilian president of Turkish Republic

Turkey has recently held its 18th presidential election. Historically, a president was elected in only 11 of the 18 elections. In the seven elections held between 1960 and 1980, the Parliament failed to elect the president.

The report, prepared by the Turkish Grand National Assembly Research Center on the presidential elections, states that five presidents were civilians and the remaining six former members of the military.

According to the report, 13 of the 18 elections were concluded in the first round. The presidents elected in the first round include Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (4 times), İsmet İnönü (4 times), Celal Bayar (3 times), Cemal Gürsel and Cevdet Sunay. In four elections, the president was elected in the third round: Turgut Özal, Süleyman Demirel, Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Abdullah Gül.

Turkey has held 18 elections since the inauguration of the Republican Era on October 23, 1923. The election in 1980 was unfruitful, but the remaining 17 were successfully concluded with the election of a president. Turkey only elected a president by popular vote once. General Kenan Evren was elected this way after following the referendum where his presidency as well as the new constitution prepared after the military coup on Sept. 12, 1980 was voted on. Atatürk and Turgut Özal died while still in office; Celal Bayar had to leave office following the May 27 military coup of 1960 after which he was tried in court; Cemal Gürsel was relieved of office based on the medical board report on his prolonged sickness.

Turkey's most troubled presidential election was the election of Fahri Korutürk, who served as the last president before the military coup of 1980. It took 15 rounds to elect Korutürk president. In 13 presidential elections, only one candidate ran for office. In the 12 elections between 1923 and 1961, a single candidate was nominated by Parliament and the election was concluded in the first round.

The People's Republican Party (CHP) did not attend the plenary session held to elect the president to protest the nomination of Abdullah Gül. A similar protest was staged in the election of Turgut Özal in 1989. The True Path Party (DYP) led by Süleyman Demirel and the Social Democrat People's Party (SHP) led by Erdal İnönü boycotted the election. Özal received the votes of ANAP deputies and one independent deputy and assumed the office as the eighth president.

The crises in two presidential elections accelerated the attempts to amend the constitution. When the parties failed to reach consensus on a single candidate while the presidential election rounds were held in 1973, they agreed to extend the office term President Cevdet Sunay. The proposal prepared under pressure from the military to amend the constitution was rejected by the Senate and the Assembly. In 2000, parties attempted to change the presidential election procedures to extend the office term of the ninth president, Süleyman Demirel. However, the Parliament dismissed the constitutional amendment under which the president would be able to remain in office for another five-year term.

At the time when the 1921 and 1924 constitutions were in effect, the presidents were elected for a few consecutive terms. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and İsmet İnönü were elected four times and Celal Bayar three times.


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Last Mod: 29 Ağustos 2007, 18:34
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