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The most important election in the history of the Turkish democracy took place on May 14, 1950, between the ruling Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the strongest representative of the opposition, the Democratic Party (DP). The country entered the election process with the adoption of the new election law based on democratic principles by the parliament on February 16,1950 and with the dissolution of the parliament, taking the election decision on March 24, 1950. During this period, the DP conducted its election campaign by holding provincial and district congresses as stipulated in its bylaws and it conducted open-air meetings. DP leaders, especially DP Chairman Celal Bayar and other DP parliamentary candidates travelled across the country. They even reached the most remote villages by communicating face to face, which is the most effective form of propaganda. Through face to face communication and mass media, they demanded votes from the public by making various statements, such as irregularities in the 1946 elections, the democratic nature of the 1950 election law, the CHP government’s incorrect economic policies which had led to the impoverishment, the necessity of granting the right to strike for workers, the improvement of the living conditions of peasants and other citizens through the application of a liberal economic model during their rule, the clarification that secularism does not mean atheism, and that there would be no change in the foreign policy. DP’s direct and effective election campaigns, both face to face and through mass media, resonated with the public, resulting in DP’s victory on May 14. This study aims to evaluate DP’s election campaign before May 14,1950 general elections, which hold an important place in the establishment of democracy in the Turkish political history. Apart from official sources, books and articles published in the newspapers in the period have been utilized in this study.

1950 elections, Republican People’s Party, Democrat Party, Propaganda


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