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Turkey, Government

An attempt by the Allied powers and Greece to partition the country following World War I (1914-1918) precipitated the Turkish War of Independence, led by Ataturk. The Turkish Republic was proclaimed on October 29, 1923. Modernization efforts followed, such as abolishing the religious courts in 1924. Women gained the right to vote in 1934.

The multiparty era began in 1946, when the newly founded Democratic Party won 62 seats in parliament, joining the Republican People’s Party. In 1950, the Democratic Party won the national elections. Increasing interparty tensions created a crisis in which a military junta seized power and governed from 1960 to 1961. A new constitution was adopted in 1961, and general elections followed. No clear majority emerged, however, and a series of coalition governments were formed by various parties. Following a period of economic uncertainty and political violence in the 1970s, a second junta in 1980 established martial law and dissolved all political parties. A new constitution was ratified by popular referendum in November 1982, and civilian government was restored at the end of 1983.

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