1977 Turkish general election

General elections were held in Turkey on 5 June 1977. Elections took place in the middle of a political race between the right-wing Justice Party (AP) and the left-wing Republican People's Party (CHP). With the charismatic leadership of Bülent Ecevit, the CHP managed to beat one of the symbolic figures of conservative politics in Turkey, Süleyman Demirel. Voter turnout was 72%.[1]

1977 Turkish general election

← 1973 5 June 1977 1983 →

All 450 seats in the Grand National Assembly
226 seats needed for a majority
Turnout72.42% (Increase5.60pp)
  First party Second party
Leader Bülent Ecevit Süleyman Demirel
Party CHP AP
Last election 33.30%, 185 seats 29.82%, 149 seats
Seats won 213 189
Seat change Increase28 Increase40
Popular vote 6,136,171 5,468,202
Percentage 41.38% 36.88%
Swing Increase8.08pp Increase7.06pp

  Third party Fourth party
Leader Necmettin Erbakan Alparslan Türkeş
Last election 11.80%, 48 seats 3.38%, 3 seats
Seats won 24 16
Seat change Decrease24 Increase13
Popular vote 1,269,918 951.544
Percentage 8.56% 6,42
Swing Decrease3.24pp Increase3.04pp

Prime Minister before election

Süleyman Demirel

Elected Prime Minister

Bülent Ecevit

The CHP's victory was the zenith of left-wing votes in the Turkish political history, but there were still no capable partners for the CHP to join forces to form government with since the remainder of parliament consisted of right-wing parties not eager to form a coalition led by Ecevit. Finally, the CHP could not gain a vote of confidence. They would need to wait until 1978 to gain support from some smaller parties and independents to govern. The CHP was not able to retain power for long and soon government control passed on to the Justice Party even as the rumblings of the 1980 military coup were beginning to be felt.



The 1974 Cyprus War had a significant impact on Turkish politics, including the rise of Bülent Ecevit and his political party, the Republican People's Party (CHP).[2] Since Ecevit was the Prime Minister during the military intervention, his popularity increased significantly following the war which is one of the factors that led to CHP winning a larger percentage of the vote in the 1977 general election than in the previous election in 1973.[2]


Republican People's Party6,136,17141.38213+28
Justice Party5,468,20236.88189+40
National Salvation Party1,269,9188.5624–24
Nationalist Movement Party951,5446.4216+13
Republican Reliance Party277,7131.873–10
Democratic Party274,4841.851–44
Unity Party58,5400.390–1
Workers' Party20,5650.1400
Valid votes14,827,17296.54
Invalid/blank votes531,0383.46
Total votes15,358,210100.00
Registered voters/turnout21,207,30372.42
Source: Nohlen et al.


  1. ^ Dieter Nohlen, Florian Grotz & Christof Hartmann (2001) Elections in Asia: A data handbook, Volume I, p257 ISBN 0-19-924958-X
  2. ^ a b Güven, Ali Murat (9 February 2021). "Türkiye'de sosyal demokrasi, Ecevit'in 1977'deki yüzde 41,4 oy oranını yeniden nasıl yakalayabilir? (1)". Independent Türkçe (in Turkish). Retrieved 10 April 2023.