Alparslan Türkeş§ (25 November 1917 – 4 April 1997) was a Turkish politician, who was the founder and president of the Nationalist Movement Party. He represented the far-right of the Turkish political spectrum. He was and still is called Başbuğ ("Leader") by his devotees. Although his ideology was on the far-right, he is respected by nationalists on both sides of the Turkish political spectrum.
|Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey|
21 July 1977 – 5 January 1978
|Prime Minister||Süleyman Demirel|
|Served with||Necmettin Erbakan|
|Preceded by||Orhan Eyüboğlu|
|Succeeded by||Turhan Feyzioğlu|
31 March 1975 – 21 June 1977
|Prime Minister||Süleyman Demirel|
|Preceded by||Zeyyat Baykara|
|Succeeded by||Orhan Eyüboğlu|
|Leader of the Nationalist Movement Party|
8 February 1969 – 5 April 1997
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Succeeded by||Devlet Bahçeli|
|Member of the Grand National Assembly|
10 October 1991 – 24 December 1995
10 October 1965 – 12 September 1980
Adana (1969, 1973, 1977)
|Born||25 November 1917|
|Died||5 April 1997 79) (aged|
|Political party||Republican Villagers Nation Party|
Nationalist Movement Party
(m. 1940; died 1974)
Seval Hanım (m. 1976)
|Alma mater||Kuleli Military High School|
|Years of service||1933–1963|
Türkeş was born in Nicosia, British Cyprus, to a Turkish Cypriot family in 1917. His paternal great-grandfather had emigrated to Cyprus from Kayseri, Ottoman Empire, in the 1860s. His father, Ahmet Hamdi Bey, was from Tuzla, near Famagusta, and his mother, Fatma Zehra Hanım, was from Larnaca. However, in an interview with the scholar Fatma Müge Göçek the journalist Hrant Dink claimed that Türkeş was of Armenian descent, an orphan originally from Sivas who was later adopted by a Muslim couple from Cyprus.
In 1932 Türkeş emigrated to Turkey with his family. He was enrolled into the military lycée in Istanbul in 1933 and completed his secondary education in 1936. In 1938, he joined the army and his military career began.
Türkeş was court-martialed on charges of "fascist and racist activities" in 1945, with the charges being dismissed in 1947, along with other nationalists like Nihal Atsiz and Nejdet Sançar. These trials would be known as the Racism trial.
He attained fame as the spokesman of the 27 May 1960 coup d'état against the government of Prime Minister Adnan Menderes, who was later executed after a trial. However Türkeş, together with 13 other members of the junta, declared he was against it that the military would give the power back to civilians and there for was expelled by an internal coup within the junta (National Unity Committee), and was sent into exile to the Turkish embassy in New Delhi. He returned in February 1963 and together with others of the fourteen, he later joined the Republican Villager Nation Party (Turkish: Cumhuriyetçi Köylü Millet Partisi, CKMP). Türkeş was elected as its chairman on 1 August 1965. In 1969 the CKMP was renamed the Nationalist Movement Party (Turkish: Milliyetçi Hareket Partisi, MHP). As leader of the MHP he was also the de facto leader of the Grey Wolves.
Through the far-right MHP, Türkeş took the rightist views of his predecessors like Nihal Atsız, and transformed them into a powerful political force. In 1965, Türkeş released a political pamphlet titled "Dokuz Işık Doktrini" (Nine Lights Doctrine). This text listed nine basic principles which formed the basis of the nationalist ideology. These were: nationalism; idealism; moralism; scientism; societalism; ruralism; libertism and personalism; progressivism and populism; industrialism and technologism.
He has been the spiritual leader of the Idealism Schools Foundation of Culture and Art (Turkish: Ülkü Ocakları Kültür ve Sanat Vakfı). His followers consider him to be one of the leading icons of the Turkish nationalist movement.
On 28 April 1978 he was received by Franz Josef Strauss, former minister for defense and finance in Germany and acting president of the CSU party. In 1992, Alparslan Türkeş visited Baku to support Abulfaz Elchibey during the Azerbaijan presidential election. He also had a meeting with Levon Ter-Petrosyan, the President of Armenia in the 1990s.
Türkeş was married twice and had seven children. He married Muzaffer Hanım in 1940 and had four daughters (Ayzit, Umay, Selcen and Çağrı) and one son (Tuğrul) with her. Their marriage lasted until his wife's death in 1974. By 1976 Türkeş married Seval Hanım and had one daughter (Ayyüce) and one son (Ahmet Kutalmış).
Türkeş died of a heart attack at the age of 80 on 4 April 1997. The announcement of his death was delayed for five hours while nationwide security measures were implemented; thereafter, thousands of his supporters went to the Bayindir Hospital chanting "Leaders never die". His funeral was held in Kocatepe Mosque in Ankara.
Türkeş's youngest son, Ahmet Kutalmış Türkeş, is a member of the Justice and Development Party and was elected as an Istanbul deputy in 2011. However, he resigned several days before the June 2015 elections, protesting the party's plans to transform the parliamentary system into a presidential one.
In 2015, Türkeş's eldest son, Tuğrul Türkeş, became the first person of Turkish Cypriot origin to be Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey. In September 2015, Türkeş made his first official visit to Northern Cyprus. As an independent parliamentarian, Türkeş has criticized the Nationalist Movement Party (founded by his father) and the Republican People's Party for their unwillingness to compromise, which led to the November 2015 elections.
Türkeş was a key figure in shaping Turkish nationalism and reviving Pan-Turkism from the 1940s onwards. Soon after his death in 1997, Turkish President Suleyman Demirel stated that his passing had been a "great loss to the political life of Turkey". Similarly, Turkey's first female Prime Minister Tansu Çiller described him as a "historic individual".
When he died, it was revealed that he had embezzled 2 trillion lira from the European Turkish Federation. The pan-Turkist group had created a secret slush fund to support the Second Chechen War and help Abulfaz Elchibey succeed in Azerbaijan. The money was formerly administered by Enver Altaylı, who had been part of the Azerbaijan coup plot. His daughters, Ayzıt and Umay Günay, quarreled over who was the rightful owner despite the fact that it was neither of them. The two appeared before the Ankara 7th High Penal Court for fraud. The indictment said that Türkeş' account in a U.K. branch of the Deutsche Bank held 575,000 DM, US$845,000, and 367,000 GBP. The court concluded that Ayzıt had withdrawn 200,000 GBP while Umay Günay had withdrawn 42,000 GBP. Ayzıt said that she had been living in the UK since 1975, and that her father opened the account in 1988, giving her complete access to it. She said that her father had instructed her to fulfill his financial obligations in support of "the cause of Turkishness" upon his death by making certain payments. Türkeş' second wife, Seval, refuted Ayzıt's claim that she had not kept the money to herself. Seval claims that she and her sons' Ayyüce and Ahmet Kutalmış share of the withdrawn 242,000 GBP is 112,355 GBP.
The case was closed due to the statute of limitations.
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| Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey
1975 – 1977
| Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey
1977 – 1978
|Party political offices|
| Leader of the Republican Peasant's Nation Party (CMKP)
1965 – 1969
renamed to MHP
renamed from CKMP
| Leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP)
1969 – 1997