1919 Ottoman general election

General elections were held in the Ottoman Empire in 1919 and were the last official elections held in the Empire.[1][2] Due to the dearth of political parties, the elections were dominated by the Association for the Defense of the Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia (Turkish: Anadolu ve Rumeli Müdafaa-i Hukuk Cemiyeti), which consisted of nationalist local groups protesting against the Allied occupation of Turkey.[2]


Called on 22 October 1919[1] under the Amasya Protocol agreement between the Ottoman government and the Turkish National Movement in Ankara,[3] the elections followed the end of World War I and the defeat of the Empire. The disbanding of the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) led to the creation of several parties previously banned or repressed under the CUP regime, including the reformation of the Freedom and Accord Party (Liberal Entente). However, Freedom and Accord did not take a role in the elections[1] in the face of the Defence of Rights Association groups supporting resistance against the Allies.[2]


The newly elected Parliament convened in Istanbul (contrary to the Amasya Protocol, which had called for it to convene outside of Istanbul) on 12 January 1920. However, its approval of the Misak-ı Millî (National Pact) with the Turkish revolutionaries in Ankara led to Allied forces occupying the city on 16 March. Several MPs were arrested and deported. Sultan Mehmed VI dissolved Parliament on 11 April.[1]

After this, the Allies did not allow new Ottoman governments to form in support of the Turkish revolutionaries in, which meant that Ottoman officials participating in government after 11 April 1920 were collaborating with the Allies against the Ankara government.


  1. ^ a b c d Hasan Kayalı (1995) "Elections and the Electoral Process in the Ottoman Empire, 1876-1919" International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 27, No. 3, pp 265–286
  2. ^ a b c Weiner, Myron; Özbudun, Ergun (1987). Competitive Elections in Developing Countries. Duke University Press. p. 336. ISBN 0-8223-0766-9.
  3. ^ Hale, William (10 September 2012). Turkish Foreign Policy, 1774-2000. Routledge. p. 33. ISBN 978-1-136-23802-4.