THE BATTLE FOR FREEDOM IN WESTERN ANATOLIA: THE 1946-1950 ELECTIONS IN MANISA

Abstract

Author(s): Murat TURAN

As Turkey transitioned into the multi-party period of political life in 1946, a period of intense conflict and separation was also initiated. The rapid organization of the Democrat Party from within the Grand National Assembly and the Republican People's Party ranks caused anxiety for the incumbent government, culminating in the announcement of early general elections. In this process, DP supporters made propaganda on the basis that they had been the target of oppression from RPP supporters and government officials, while the RPP side considered these accusations as “the work of disruptive opposition supporters”. Since being established, DP had distanced itself from elitism and promised more freedoms and rights, gathering the support of many tradesmen, local communities, landowners and even workers who were not satisfied with the single party rule. This article will deal with the developments experienced in Manisa in this “Battle for Freedom”, where DP supporters were accused of being traitors and dissidents and RPP supporters were accused of being autocratic and despotic.

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