Nationalist Movement Party

The Nationalist Movement Party (alternatively translated as Nationalist Action Party; Turkish: Milliyetçi Hareket Partisi, MHP) is a Turkish far-right, ultranationalist and Eurosceptic political party. The group is often described as neo-fascist,[18][19][20][21][22] and has been linked to some violent paramilitaries[23] and organized crime groups[citation needed]. The party is represented by 48 MPs in the Turkish Parliament which support the AKP government[citation needed]. Its leader is Devlet Bahçeli.

Nationalist Movement Party
Milliyetçi Hareket Partisi
PresidentDevlet Bahçeli
General Secretaryİsmet Büyükataman [tr]
FounderAlparslan Türkeş
Founded9 February 1969; 52 years ago (1969-02-09) 24 January 1993; 28 years ago (1993-01-24) (re-establishment)
Preceded byRepublican Villagers Nation Party
HeadquartersEhlibeyt Mh. Ceyhun Atuf Kansu Cd No:128, 06105 Ankara, Turkey
Paramilitary wingGrey Wolves (unofficial)
Membership (2021) 475,338[1]
IdeologyTurkish ultranationalism[2][3][4][5]
Cultural nationalism[5][6][7]
Social conservatism[8]
National conservatism[9]
Right-wing populism[10][11]
Nine Lights Doctrine

Political positionFar-right[15][16][17]
National affiliationPeople's Alliance
Colours    Red, White (official)
  Ruby red (customary)
SloganÜlkenin Geleceğine Oy Ver ("Vote for the Country's Future")
Grand National Assembly
48 / 600
Metropolitan municipalities
1 / 30
District municipalities
233 / 1,351
Provincial councillors
188 / 1,251
Municipal Assemblies
2,819 / 20,498
Party flag

The party was formed in 1969 by former Turkish Army colonel Alparslan Türkeş, who had become leader of the Republican Villagers Nation Party (CKMP) in 1965. The party mainly followed a Pan-Turkist and Turkish nationalist political agenda throughout the latter half of the 20th century. Devlet Bahçeli took over after Türkeş's death in 1997. The party's youth wing is the Grey Wolves (Bozkurtlar) organization, which is also known as the "Nationalist Hearths" (Ülkü Ocakları) which contributed to the political violence in Turkey in the 1970s.[citation needed]

Alparslan Türkeş founded the party after criticizing the Republican People's Party (CHP) for moving too far away from the nationalist principles of their founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, claiming that he would not have founded the MHP had the CHP not deviated from Atatürk's ideology.[24] The MHP won enough seats in the 1973 and 1977 general election to take part in the "Nationalist Front" governments during the 1970s. The party was banned following the 1980 coup, but reestablished with its original name in 1993. After Türkeş's death and the election of Devlet Bahçeli as his successor, the party won 18% of the vote and 129 seats in the 1999 general election, its best ever result. Bahçeli subsequently became Deputy Prime Minister after entering a coalition with the Democratic Left Party (DSP) and the Motherland Party (ANAP), though his calls for an early election resulted in the government's collapse in 2002. In the 2002 general election, the MHP fell below the 10% election threshold and lost all of its parliamentary representation after the newly formed Justice and Development Party (AKP) won a plurality.

After the 2007 general election, in which the MHP won back its parliamentary representation with 14.27% of the vote, the party has strongly opposed the peace negotiations between the government and the Kurdistan Workers Party and used to be fiercely critical of the governing AKP over government corruption and authoritarianism. Nevertheless, the MHP has often been referred to by critics as the "AKP's lifeline", having covertly helped the AKP in situations such as the 2007 presidential election, repealing the headscarf ban, and the June–July 2015 parliamentary speaker elections.[25] Since 2015, Bahçeli has been openly supporting Erdogan and the AKP. This caused a schism within the party, resulting in Meral Akşener leaving MHP to found the center-right İYİ Party. The MHP supported a 'Yes' vote in the 2017 referendum, and formed the People's Alliance electoral pact with the AKP for the 2018 Turkish general election.[26] MHP currently supports a minority government lead by the AKP.