1930 İSTANBUL MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS
Dokuz Eylül Üniversitesi, İzmir/TÜRKİYE
Keywords: İstanbul, Free Republican Party, Municipal Elections, Republican People’s Party.
The elections, which gained dynamism with the transition to the multiparty system in Türkiye, gained a different quality in the municipal elections held in 1930. The 1930 municipal elections were not the elections where the mayor was directly elected by popular votes as it is today, but it had important qualities as an election for municipal council candidates. Another important feature of this election, which was held for the first time in a single step and also gave women the right to vote and be elected, is that an opposition party participated in the elections for the first time in the Republican era. The Free Republican Party, which was born mainly from the economic conditions and, also the need to supervise the government and decided to enter local elections shortly after its establishment, competed against the ruling Republican People’s Party in a big city like Istanbul as well as in other regions of Türkiye. It is remarkable that the opposition party in Istanbul included 13 non-Muslim candidates in its list, in addition to three important female candidates such as Makbule Hanım, Suat Derviş and Nezihe Muhittin. Thus, the Free Republican Party both tried to attract the attention of the voters with the well-known names of Türkiye at that time, and also gave the minorities, who could be described as cultural wealth, the opportunity to enter the election race. Republican People’s Party, on the other hand, preferred to nominate former municipal or provincial council members, namely experienced names. Although it was a struggle involving independent candidates as well as two parties, the Istanbul elections did not attract much attention from the voters. The elections, in which only 50 thousand citizens voted, are one of the least interesting elections in the first years of the Republic in terms of voter turnout.