Republican People’s Party was established by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk on 9 September 1923 with the name “People’s Party”. The name of the party was changed to “Republican People’s Party” in 1935.
In 1927, CHP adopted “Republicanism”, “Populism”, “Nationalism”, and “Secularism” as the four main principles of the Party. “Etatism” and “Revolutionism” were introduced in 1935, bringing the number of principles to six. The six arrows depicted in the Party logo refer to these six principles.
CHP, under the direction of its founder and first party leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, won the national liberation war, abolished the sultanate and caliphate, established the Turkish Republic, and consolidated the Turkish national unity. The Party pioneered economic development and industrialization. Following the World War II, CHP led the democratization process and oversaw the transition from a single-party regime to a multi-party system.
Throughout the 1950s, CHP served as the main opposition party and institutionalized the role of the political opposition in the Turkish democratic regime. In this role, the Party struggled to consolidate democracy and advocated fundamental rights and freedoms. Following the process of industrialization, urbanization, migration, and the rise of the working class in the 1960s, which marked the country’s rapid modernization, CHP positioned itself to the “left of centre”. Throughout the 1970s, CHP defined its ideology as the “democratic left” and aimed to “change the order” through social reforms. In this process, CHP was transformed from being the “Party of the state” to the “Party of the people” as well as from being the “Party of order” to the “Party of change”.
CHP is a deep rooted institution which inherited the Republican heritage, tradition, and principles. At the same time, CHP adheres to the universal principles of social democracy and is a member of the Socialist International and an associate member of the Party of European Socialists. The main goals of CHP highlighted in the Party programme are the universal values of contemporary social democracy, namely freedom, equality, solidarity, workers’ rights, and democracy.