1987 Turkish general election

General elections were held in Turkey on 29 November 1987. This election is important for two events; the Military junta's restrictions on former politicians were lifted so they joined to the political scene again, whilst the Motherland Party retained its majority in the parliament by losing votes but gaining more seats, thanks to the electoral system of the country. Voter turnout was 93.3%.[1]

1987 Turkish general election

29 November 1987

Total of 450 seats of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey
226 seats were needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
Leader Turgut Özal Erdal İnönü Süleyman Demirel
Leader since 20 May 1983 30 May 1986 6 September 1987
Leader's seat İstanbul İzmir Isparta
Last election 211 seats, 45.14% 117 seats, 30.46% New party
Seats won 292 99 59
Seat change 81 18 59
Popular vote 8,704,335 5,931,000 4,587,062
Percentage 36.31% 24.74% 19.10%
Swing 8.83% 5.72% 19.1%

Prime Minister before election

Turgut Özal

Elected Prime Minister

Turgut Özal

The 1987 election saw the return of the religious oriented base of Necmettin Erbakan and the symbol names of the politics in the 1970s, Bülent Ecevit and Süleyman Demirel. Bülent Ecevit led DSP because CHP was closed down after the coup of 1980. Süleyman Demirel founded DYP to challenge the power of Turgut Özal on conservative liberal votes. The elections of 1987 were marked with harsh restrictions on televised publicity for the opposition parties. Different as 1983 there was no televised debate between the presidential candidates. Only one week before the elections political infomercials from the different parties were aired. The SHP gained the most benefit of the infomercials, as the SHP polled about 30% compared to the 18% before screening the infomercial.[2]


Party Votes % Seats +/–
Motherland Party8,704,33536.3292+81
Social Democratic Populist Party5,931,00024.799New
True Path Party4,587,06219.159New
Democratic Left Party2,044,5768.50New
Welfare Party1,717,4257.20New
Nationalist Workers Party701,5382.90New
Reformist Democracy Party196,2720.80New
Invalid/blank votes631,912
Source: Nohlen et al.


  1. Dieter Nohlen, Florian Grotz & Christof Hartmann (2001) Elections in Asia: A data handbook, Volume I, p258 ISBN 0-19-924958-X
  2. Wuthrich, F. Michael (2015-07-28). National Elections in Turkey: People, Politics, and the Party System. Syracuse University Press. p. 191. ISBN 9780815634126.

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