Unity Party (Turkey)

The Unity Party (Türkiye Birlik Partisi, TBP, until 1973 Birlik Partisi - BP) was a former Alevi political party that existed from 1966 until its closure in 1981 after the military coup of 1980. It had its roots among the Alevi population in modern-day Turkey. Huseyin Balan was elected party president in 1966, and was succeeded in 1969 by Mustafa Timisi.[2] Some of the main party leaders were members of an influent Alevi family of the Ulusoy.[2]

Unity Party
Türkiye Birlik Partisi
PresidentHuseyin Balan (1917-1984)
Mustafa Timisi (1936-)
SecretaryHüseyin Ekici
FounderHasan Tahsin Berkman
FoundedOctober 17, 1966 (1966-10-17)
BannedSeptember 12, 1980 (1980-09-12)
Succeeded byPeace Party
IdeologyMinority rights
Kurdish rights[1]
Left-wing populism
Stateless nationalism
Indigenous rights
Political positionLeft-wing
Far-left to Centre-left
Colours      Pomegranate, red, and white

It gained seats in the Turkish Parliament between 1966 and 1977.[3] In the general elections of 1969, the party entered parliament with eight deputies of which five also supported the Government of Süleyman Demirel.[3] In the general elections of 1973 the party only stemmed 1.1% of the voter share, gaining a single deputy in parliament, which was Mustafa Timisi.[3] The party advocated for the recognition of the Alevis through the Directorate of Religious Affairs and demanded more religious freedom. It also worked closely together with Alevi organizations. It was more supportive towards Kemalism and did not gain so much support supposedly of the Kurdish Alevi.[4] Its logo depicted a lion encircled by 12 stars representing Ali and the 12 twelve imams.[3] Its successor was the Peace Party (Barış Partisi, BP) existed between 1996 and 1999 - a splinter party from the Republican People's Party (CHP).


  1. ^ Şener Aktürk (2012). Regimes of Ethnicity and Nationhood in Germany, Russia, and Turkey. p. 119. ISBN 9781107021433.
  2. ^ a b Yaman, Ali (2014). "Between trust and hope: the Justice and Development Party and the Alevis in Turkey". SEER: Journal for Labour and Social Affairs in Eastern Europe. 17 (1): 65. doi:10.5771/1435-2869-2014-1-57. ISSN 1435-2869. JSTOR 43293556.
  3. ^ a b c d Massicard, Elise (2013). The Alevis in Turkey and Europe: Identity and Managing Territorial Diversity. Routledge. pp. 27–28. ISBN 978-0-415-66796-8.
  4. ^ Cetin, Umit; Jenkins, Celia; Aydin, Suavi (2020-05-25). KURDISH STUDIES, VOLUME 8, NUMBER 1, MAY 2020 SPECIAL ISSUE: ALEVI KURDS: HISTORY, POLITICS AND IDENTITY. Transnational Press London. ISBN 978-1-912997-48-0.