When MPs leave the chamber

More members of parliament have left the AK Party than any other in this session, but opposition lines haven’t exactly held firm
Emrehan Halıcı
Emrehan Halıcı resigned from the CHP to form the Electronic Democracy Party, an e-Democracy campaigning outfit

More members of parliament have left the AK Party than any other in this session, but opposition lines haven’t exactly held firm

Turkish parliamentarians and their reasons for leaving, 2011-2015Turkey has no system for filling parliamentary vacancies when they occur. The law does allow for by-elections (“ara seçim“) but these are only triggered when a province is left with no seats at all or if more than five percent of the chamber (28 seats) is vacated.

These conditions mean by-elections in Turkey are extremely rare. It also means the country’s 550-seat parliament builds up a large number of vacancies as its term draws to close.

15 seats are empty in today’s chamber: four members passed away since the last election in 2011, while eleven were elected either president or a mayor last year. It’s far from the 28 seats needed to trigger a by-election – and even if it were close, the rules dictate that an ara seçim cannot take place with less than a year to go until a general election.

But among those MPs who retain their seats, not all have retained their party. Seventeen members of parliament have changed colours since 2011: the vast majority (15) were individual resignations, while two MPs have been expelled.


İhsan Barutçu was the first MP to be ejected from his party and it happened before he was even elected. He refused to resign after footage of him allegedly with a prostitute appeared on the internet mere days before the 2011 election.

The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) tried to deselect him but the Electoral Council ruled their candidate list was unalterable. He was duly elected and remained an independent MP ever since.

Emrehan Halıcı
Emrehan Halıcı resigned from the CHP to form the Electronic Democracy Party, an e-Democracy campaigning outfit

The other MP to be kicked out this term was Süheyl Batum. His Republican People’s Party (CHP) expelled him in December last year for comments his made in support of Emine Ülker Tarhan, who had resigned from the party the previous month.


Resignation has been the most popular route of departure in this parliament. At the turn of the century made would do this to switch parties, but only one MP has done so since 2011. The distinction belongs to Salih Fırat, CHP MP for Adıyaman, who switched to the governing AK Party in March 2013.

More fashionable has been to resign and launch a new party of your own. Five MPs have done this so far, ranging from İdris Bal, who left AK to start the Democratic Progress Party, to Emrehan Halıcı, who cast the CHP aside for the delightfully-named Electronic Democracy Party.

Turkish parliamentarian departures by party, 2011-2015The majority of resigning MPs have opted to remain independent members. Most of those who left AK in the wake of December 2013’s cabinet corruption scandal, for example, have not since affiliated themselves to any party.


The AK Party has seen sixteen of its 327 MPs move on for a variety of reasons, more than any other. But the CHP lost ten members out of 135, a larger portion of its own parliamentary party.

The smaller parties have been more robust: the MHP has not shed a single member aside from its sole pre-election expulsion, while among the 35 Kurdish-backed independents, two passed away and three moved onto mayoral office. They may have a thing or two to teach about party loyalty.



  1. Hi! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for
    this website? I’m getting tired of WordPress because I’ve had issues with hackers and I’m looking
    at options for another platform. I would be fantastic if you could
    point me in the direction of a good platform.

  2. Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon on a daily basis.
    It’s always interesting to read through articles from
    other authors and practice a little something from other sites.

  3. I blog quite often and I genuinely thank you for your content.

    Your article has really peaked my interest. I will take a note of your site and
    keep checking for new information about once a
    week. I opted in for your RSS feed too.

  4. Have you ever considered about including a little bit more than just
    your articles? I mean, what you say is fundamental and
    all. Nevertheless just imagine if you added some great visuals or
    videos to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and
    clips, this blog could undeniably be one of the most beneficial in its field.
    Superb blog!

  5. I absolutely love your blog and find a lot of your post’s to be precisely what
    I’m looking for. Does one offer guest writers to write content available for you?

    I wouldn’t mind writing a post or elaborating on a lot
    of the subjects you write concerning here. Again, awesome site!

  6. Woah! I’m really loving the template/theme of
    this site. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s very hard to get that “perfect balance” between user friendliness and visual appearance.

    I must say you’ve done a very good job with this. Also, the blog loads super fast for me on Chrome.
    Exceptional Blog!

  7. I am really inspired along with your writing skills as neatly as with the structure to
    your blog. Is this a paid topic or did you customize it your
    self? Either way keep up the nice high quality writing, it
    is uncommon to look a nice blog like this one today..

  8. Thanks for another wonderful article. Where else could anybody get that type of info in such an ideal way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I’m on the look for such info.

  9. I’m not sure why but this blog is loading very slow for me.
    Is anyone else having this problem or is it a issue on my end?
    I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

  10. Superb blog! Do you have any hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own site soon but I’m
    a little lost on everything. Would you recommend starting with
    a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so
    many choices out there that I’m completely overwhelmed ..
    Any recommendations? Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts