The 1919 Ottoman General Elections, the Stance of Leftist Parties in the Elections, and a Worker Being Elected DeputyAykut Kartal
The Ottoman Empire was ruled without a constitution for many years. As time went by, the Ottoman Empire was unable to keep up with the developments of the period. Therefore, it needed to innovate the administration and other levels of state. At the forefront of these innovations were a constitution, the holding of elections, and the creation of a parliament. The first constitution, Kanun-i Esasi, was prepared in 1876 and introduced the constitutional monarchy system, in which elections were held for the first time. The first elections occurred in 1877 and were held twice that year. The next elections occurred in 1908, 1912, 1914, and 1919. The 1919 elections took place when the country was under occupation and also experiencing the rise of the War of Independence. In this sense, the 1919 elections took place under a different atmosphere than the others. The 1919 elections also had the characteristics of one involving many parties and societies and carrying out unifying activities due to being the first election without the Committee of Union and Progress. Socialist parties were also found that carried out unifying activities. This study discusses the election atmosphere in the armistice environment following World War I and the surrounding developments, as well as the election process. The scope of the study involves the developments along the electoral axis between December 21, 1918 when Parliament closed down and January 12, 1920, when Parliament reopened. This study conducts a literature review with the aim of conveying the developments during the Armistice Period following World War I along the lines of the election up to Parliament’s opening. The study also aims to perform a period reading in light of the data by conveying the leftist stance.
1919 Osmanlı Genel Seçimleri, Sol Partilerin Seçim Tavrı ve Mebus Seçilmiş Bir İşçiAykut Kartal
Osmanlı Devleti, uzun yıllar boyunca meşruti olmayan bir şekilde yönetilmiştir. Zamanla Osmanlı Devleti, dönemin gelişmelerine ayak uyduramamış, bundan dolayı hem yönetimde hem de devletin diğer kademelerinde yenilikler yapma gereği hissetmiştir. Bu yeniliklerin başında anayasanın ve seçimlerin yapılması ile meclisin oluşturulması gelmektedir. 1876 yılında hazırlanan ilk anayasa Kanun-i Esasi ile meşruti monarşi sistemine geçilmiş, ayrıca ilk defa seçimler yapılabilmiştir. İlk seçim 1877 yılında gerçekleştirilmiş olup 1877 yılında iki kere yapılmış, sonraki seçimler 1908, 1912, 1914 ve 1919’da gerçekleştirilmiştir. 1919 seçimleri, bir yandan ülkenin işgal altında olduğu, öbür yandan ise Milli Mücadele’nin yükselişe geçtiği bir dönemde gerçekleşmiştir. Bu bakımdan diğer seçimlerden daha farklı bir atmosferde meydana gelmiştir. 1919 seçimleri, ayrıca, İTC’nin olmadığı ilk seçim olması nedeniyle birçok fırka ve cemiyetin ilgilendiği, kendi içlerinde birlik faaliyetleri yürüttüğü bir seçim niteliği de taşımıştır. Birlik faaliyetleri içerisinde sosyalist fırkalar da bulunmaktadır. Bu çalışmada, Birinci Dünya Savaşı sonrası mütareke ortamındaki seçim atmosferine ve etrafındaki gelişmelere değinilmekle birlikte seçim süreci üzerinde durulacaktır. Çalışmanın kapsamı, meclisin kapanma tarihi olan 21 Aralık 1918 ile meclisin yeniden açılış tarihi olan 12 Ocak 1920 tarihleri arasındaki seçim eksenindeki gelişmelerdir. Çalışmada, literatür taramasından yararlanılmıştır. Çalışmanın amacı, Birinci Dünya Savaşı sonrası mütareke dönemindeki gelişmeleri seçim ekseni üzerinden meclisin açılışına kadar aktarabilmek, ayrıca solun siyaset sahnesinde yer almasıyla izledikleri tavrı aktararak veriler ışığında dönem okuması gerçekleştirmektir.
By the second half of the 19th century, the demands for a constitution had begun in the Ottoman Empire. These demands began being heard with the 1848 Revolutions that started in Europe, followed by the expressions submitted for a constitution and parliamentary system. As a result of modernization and the prominent people of society being abroad, the demands for changing the administrative style, making a constitution, and establishing a parliament increased. The way to disentangle the economic and political crisis was thought to be by restricting the sultan’s powers through a constitution and a parliament. By strengthening the demands for a constitutional monarchy and the accession of Abdul Hamid II to the throne as a sultan who would accept this form of government, an attempt was made to pass a constitutional monarchy in the Ottoman Empire. The First Constitution of the Ottoman Empire was issued in 1876 and was valid until the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Parliament and elections were needed to shape and approve the Constitution. No elections had been held previously in the Ottoman Empire because of the administration. With the prepared Constitution, elections were able to be held twice in 1877. Although the Constitution had been formed, the sultan’s powers cannot be said to have been restricted. Due to the Ottoman Empire’s defeat against the Russian Empire in 1878 and the formation of an opposition in Parliament, the sultan’s parliament was suspended indefinitely and the Constitution was shelved. For 30 years, Parliament remained closed and the Constitution repealed. As a result of the reoccurrence of constitutionalist activities in 1908, the sultan favored reopening the assembly and holding elections. The Ottoman Empire was governed by the same Constitution from 1908 until its dissolution, and the Constitution was amended six times. With the reintroduction of the constitutional monarchy in 1908, an atmosphere of freedom was established, and parties and societies took place in the political scene in the Ottoman Empire. The first of these was the Committee of Union and Progress, which was the society that ensured the redeclaration of the constitutional monarchy and had been gaining its voice in the country daily. With the redeclaration of the constitutional monarchy, elections were held, and the sultan’s powers were restricted. With the 1908 elections, the Committee of Union and Progress’ presence began being felt in Parliament, and this effect also showed itself again in the 1912 and 1914 elections. World War I started in 1914, and the Ottoman Empire also joined. The Ottoman Empire suffered heavy damage from the war and succumbed, facing occupation and sanctions as a result. The leaders of the Committee of Union and Progress had caused the Ottomans to enter the war. Therefore, hostility and opposition to the Committee of Union and Progress started. With the end of the war, the Committee of Union and Progress dissolved and disappeared from the stage of history, but the fear that its influence and thoughts would resurface surrounded the environment. During World War I, Parliament had remained open, and its mandate was extended until the end of 1918. The assembly, which had opened with the 1914 elections, worked without interruption until closed by the sultan for holding elections. With the ceasefire after the war, the National Struggle had started in the OttomanEmpire while the Allies occupied the country and government and the sultan tried to get along with the Allies.
Upon entering the Armistice Period, solutions were sought for the country’s independence, and many parties and societies were established. As the ceasefire continued, peace talks were held on the one hand while occupation activities continued on the other. As the country searched for a way out, the demands to hold elections and open Parliament increased. With the Armistice, leftist politics started to operate, and they too fought for elections. The 1919 Elections differed from others in that they were held during a time of many developments. This study examines the electoral developments that emerged after the closure of Parliament alongside the surrounding events. The first section of the study provides information about the election and the parliamentary experience from the adoption of the Constitution up to the 1919 election. The next section discusses the political environment and electoral developments that had occurred with the closure of the post-war Parliament and explains the attitudes of the various parties and societies. The last section of the study involves the election experiences of the leftist parties, the results of the elections, and also the reactions to a worker being elected as a deputy.