The Alternate Book of 1960s

Party Must Be Reformed!
Party Must Be Reformed!

“Cracknell was never a Douglas Social Crediter - he never believed in it. He put it perfectly… when he said… that Douglas had a “germ of a good idea” and that’s as far as he went. In his speeches and broadcasts he referred to the use of “a little more Reserve Bank Credit'' and that’s as far as Vern Cranknell would ever go”

J.B. O’Brien, said in an interview


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Vernon Cracknell

Vernon Cracknell’s victory in the Hobson election was shocking for all of the Social Credit Party. On the first and second day, members of the Social Credit Party celebrated it tremendously. On the third day, however, most Social Credit members had the same question. “What would we do?” Most members did not think they could advance that far and, now, they had no idea how to proceed with it. Vernon Cracknell’s first parliamentary meeting had shown the Social Credit members their leader’s parliamentary traits. Those traits were that he was inexperienced, he was cracked severely under severe pressure and he had no idea about how to deal with parliamentary politics.

Despite this failure in parliamentary politics, Cracknell’s victory resulted with a decisive victory of the Reformists inside the Social Credit Party. This victory, despite having no effect on the party, not only consolidated power around Vernon Cracknell’s leadership, it also resulted in Reformists showing that the Social Credit Party could have a future in parliamentary politics, just like any party. Soon, reforms began to happen.

First came with the centralization of the power in the hands of the Dominion Council, which previously met infrequently and was filled with infighting. Slowly, party branches saw their power diminish. Highly individualistic branches were becoming more centralized around the party leadership, with Dominion Council deciding on most issues. This was followed by reforms such as the formation of women auxiliaries, the formation of a Junior League and the increase of the power Public Relations Officer, Alan Smith, amidst the small but very loud opposition from the traditionalists.

Taking power from the support of his reforms, Vernon Cracknell decided to go further in his reforms. And in the year of 1964, despite the massive opposition from the traditionalists of the party, it was announced that the party constitution was going to be rewritten. And, when the new constitution was announced, it caused a very strong and very angry reaction from the Traditionalists. Dominion Council being declared as the supreme decision making body between Conferences, a new provision that required all branch remits to be submitted to the appropriate national committee before being considered by Conference and increased powers given to the Leader…

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John O'Brien

These constitutional reforms caused the resignation of, largely unimportant, Traditionalists. Except for one resignation. John O’Brien, the Deputy Leader of the Social Credit Party announced his resignation and decided to form his own party. Yet, despite this opposition, Vernon Cracknell gained power to change the party to his own direction, which was a party of rural conservatism.

Soon the party's monetary reform policies were watered down, while problems encountered by the rural people were becoming more mainstream in the party. A detailed program for better rural transportation, communication and public amenities was adopted by the party and was heavily endorsed by Vernon Cracknell. On the other hand, more and more single issue groups were associating themselves with the Social Credit Party of NZ. These included N.Z. Rhodesia Society, conservative Catholics, supporters of state aid to private schools and many more groups.

The Social Credit Party, despite the loss of its die-hard supporters, gained many more supporters, in the name of rural voters heavily dissatisfied with the direction New Zealand was going for. Cracknell’s speeches on small-business capitalism, which was more fair in his opinion, also drew small business owners threatened by the corporations to the Social Credit Party. While Cracknell's performance in the parliament was abysmal, the party was growing.

And, by the time election time came, the Social Credit Party of New Zealand was completely reformed. It had a good enough support base, dominated by small business owners and rural voters, and nearly all of the branches of the party were reigned in by the Dominion Council.
 
Election Time
Election Time

“It was my own experiences as an accountant that aroused my interest in the League. Over thirty two years I could not help but notice among my own clients the steady erosion of the small man’s place in society. The small farmer and small businessman are steadily being forced out of business. Today only big monopolies survive. True private enterprise is vanishing, and while communism grows more like capitalism, our own system of capitalism is getting more and more like communism.”

Vernon Cracknell, said in an interview to the N.Z.G.


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Leader of the Labour Party, Norman Kirk
The 1966 New Zealand General Election was considered by many to be the weirdest and most unexpected elections in New Zealand history to this day. It was supposed to be a race between Prime Minister Keith Holyoake, a seasoned politician from the center right party of National Party and Norman Kirk, a fresh start for the center left party of Labor Party. Issues of the election were the same with one different issue, the Vietnam War, popping up. It was going to be a fight between the Labor Party and the National Party.

Nobody expected Social Credit to perform that well in the election. This good performance had three reasons. First was the fact that their new manifesto managed to win over many dissatisfied groups, like conservative Catholics or rural voters. Second was their, somewhat, solving of the money problem thanks to many donations from small sized enterprises, hoping that they would protect their rights against the big monopolies. And, the third reason was that big parties thinked that the Social Credit Party was going to lose, given the dissenters in the party and the poor performance of Cracknell in Parliament.

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Minister of Marine and Broadcasting, Jack Stott

Reality was harsh for both parties however. Social Credit Party of New Zealand, once thought to be a party of a small minority of monetary reform obsessors, not only retained their only seat, by the slimmest margin imaginable, but also won another seat, as Nevern McConachy won the constituency of Rodney by a slim margin over the Minister of Marine and Broadcasting, Jack Scott of the National Party. Yet, their real impact was on other constituencies.

As counting continued, it was obvious that the Social Credit Party siphoned off the supporters of the National Party which meant that marginal seats were slowly coming into the orbit of the Labor Party. And by the end of counting, it was obvious that the National Party lost three seats to Labor by slim margins. Which meant that the National Party lost its majority… but Labor could not form a majority either. Social Credit Party, thus became the key to the power for both parties.

Yet, in the coalition race, the National Party was very advantaged compared to the Labor Party. They were, after all, the party of conservatism and, with Social Credit becoming a different tone of conservatism, it was very likely that they would find a compromise. And, indeed, they found. On the fifth day of the negotiations, it was announced that a government between the Social Credit Party and National Party was formed. Leader of the Social Credit Party, Vernon Cracknell gained the positions of Minister of Works and the Minister of Agriculture, alongside with National supporting some policies of the Social Credit Party, mainly related to the rural policies. A new era of New Zealand politics was beginning.
 
Interesting chapter 👍

One question: wondering what happens to John O'Brien and the other traditional dissenters within the SoCreds after their departure from the Party, as seen in a previous chapter.
 
Interesting chapter 👍

One question: wondering what happens to John O'Brien and the other traditional dissenters within the SoCreds after their departure from the Party, as seen in a previous chapter.
Thanks for reminding me that their fate! In OTL, John O'Brien left the Party in the beginning of early 1970s, and tried to establish his own party with no success. So, same happens ITTL, except earlier.
 
There is No Coalition in New Zealand (News from the Future)
FUTURE FOR NEW ZEALAND…

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Government of Holyoake (Formed after the 1966 General Election)

Prime Minister: Keith Holyoake (National Party)
Deputy Prime Minister: Jack Marshall (National Party)
Minister of Agriculture: Vernon Cracknell (Social Credit Party)
Attorney-General: Ralph Hanan (National Party)
Minister of Broadcasting: Lance Adams-Schneider (National Party)
Minister of Customs: Norman Shelton (National Party)
Minister of Defense: David Thomson (National Party)
Minister of Education: Arthur Kinsella (National Party)
Minister of Finance: Harry Lake (National Party)
Minister of Foreign Affairs: Keith Holyoake (National Party)
Minister of Forestry: Duncan MacIntyre (National Party)
Minister of Health: Don McKay (National Party)
Minister of Housing: John Rae (National Party)
Minister of Immigration: Tom Shand (National Party)
Minister of Industries and Commerce: Jack Marshall (National Party)
Minister of Interior: David Seath (National Party)
Minister of Island Territories: Ralph Hanan (National Party)
Minister of Justice: Ralph Hanan (National Party)
Minister of Labor: Tom Shand (National Party)
Minister of Maori Affairs: Ralph Hanan (National Party)
Minister of Marine: Jack Scott (National Party)
Minister of Mines: Tom Shand (National Party)
Minister of Police: Percy Allen (National Party)
Postmaster-General: Jack Scott (National Party)
Minister of Railways: Peter Gordon (National Party)
Minister of Social Security: Don McKay (National Party)
Minister of Trade: John Marshall (National Party)
Minister of Transport: Peter Gordon (National Party)
Minister of Works: Vernon Cracknell (Social Credit Party)

News Events from the FUTURE!!!

“Educational Benefits Bill, proposed by the Social Credit Party, passed with the slimmest margins, as only forty one MPs voted in favor of the bill, with one National MP refusing to vote for the Bill. According to the Educational Benefits Bill, an educational benefit substantially equal to the cost in state schools of teaching secular subjects was going to be granted to the independent schools. This development was met with rejoicing in the Catholic Community and was met with protests from many people who claimed this will mean wasting money on the already rich institution…”

-TVNZ News Report in 16 February 1967


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Leader of Social Credit Party and Minister of Agriculture and Works, Vernon Cracknell

“Minister of Agriculture and Works, Vernon Cracknell announced the end of the Rural Development Plan. This plan included the reopening of the railway lines closed due to being uneconomic, building of railways measuring 108 miles exclusively between rural areas and opening of 3.189 party lines. This plan was widely acclaimed by the rural residents with one rural resident saying “Finally, someone in the government is caring about us”. Yet, this policy was not without its criticisms. With the plan entirely focusing on the rural part of the country, Minister Cracknell was accused of spending the money on building party support amongst the rural side. Also, there was criticism that this plan cost an unnecessary amount of money that could be used for better things.”

-TVNZ News Report in 20 August 1969

“As the election results for 1969 General Elections have been finalized, it seems like that Prime Minister Keith Holyoake will be forced to continue his coalition with the Social Credit Party, as the seat count of both National Party and the Social Credit Party did not change. On the other hand, the Labor Party won four seats and thus made their seat count to thirty nine. While Prime Minister Keith Holyoake did not comment on the situation, Leader of the Social Credit Party, Vernon Cracknell, said that he is ready to make a coalition with the National Party as long as the National Party agrees on continuing the current situation.”

-TVNZ News Report in 30 November 1969

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One of many railways constructed during rural development plans

“Did you read the new rural development plan envisioned by our Minister of Agriculture and Works? According to this plan, until 1972, 120 miles of railways were going to be built in the rural provinces of New Zealand. Not only this, my readers, but also there will be more party lines built in the… rural provinces! Do you know where this money will come from? Your pockets, of course, my readers! Not only your pockets, money will also come from debts. And as the state continues to pour more and more money into the rural districts of this country, our economy will not be fixed. All the government is doing is pouring money into a deepless pit called “Support of Social Credit.”
I say that this monstrosity must stop!”

-An Editorial written by an Unknown Newspaper in 1970

“The Government of New Zealand announced its opposition to the United Kingdom’s entry to the European Economic Community. Seen by many as a position taken by the government to make their Social Credit partners happy, it nevertheless affects the relationship with the United Kingdom badly, as numerous British politicians condemned this announcement, claiming it to be an interference from an outside force. While others claim that this was a move to make the Social Credit Party, who is opposed to the UK’s entry to the EEC, happy.”

-BBC New Report, 17 August 1971


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New Leader of National Party, Rob Muldoon

“After the resignation of Prime Minister Holyoake, the top job seemed to be destined to Jack Marshall, rather bland deputy of Holyoake. After all, he was the favorite of the former PM. Yet, when Minister of Finance, Rob Muldoon entered the race, Jack Marshall’s path to power became harder. Yet, he seemed to pull it out. That was until the interview of Vernon Cracknell about the issue. He said that “He would prefer Robert Muldoon over Jack Marshall as a coalition partner”. This was interpreted by many in the National Party that Social Credit was going to abandon the coalition in case of Marshall being elected as the National Leader. So, in a very contentious voting, Rob Muldoon became both the Leader of the National Party and the Prime Minister of New Zealand.”

-TVNZ News Report in 7 February 1972

“As the last ballot boxes have been counted, it has been obvious that the Labor Party will form the government with a majority of eleven seats. All the seats Labor gained were from the National Party, with Social Credit managing to retain their two seats in the Parliament. And with this development, Norman Kirk became the next Prime Minister of New Zealand.”

-TVNZ News Report in 25 November 1972


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New Leader of National Party, George Gair

“Rob Muldoon lost the control over the National Party as the very contentious leadership race was won by George Gair, a well-known liberal within the National Party. With Muldoon gone, George Gair promised a return to the era of manners and sensible politics in his speech. What entails the future of the National Party, however, is unknown.”

-TVNZ News Report in 5 March 1973

“As the last ballot box was closed, it has been obvious that the National Party gained a, even if slim, majority. The National Party, led by George Gair, won fourteen seats from the Labor Party, yet lost two of their original seats to the Social Credit candidates. Despite this setback however, they still managed to have a majority, even if it is a majority of one seat.“

-TVNZ News Report in 29 November 1975


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Minister of Finance Derek Quigley

“Yesterday, the National Government suffered a heavy defeat as Minister of Finance Derek Quigley’s budget, which included the closure of unprofitable railway lines and a severe cut on unemployment benefits, was defeated by a coalition of Social Credit and Labor Party, alongside with four MPs from National Party led by Rob Muldoon. With the budget not passing, it is rumored that Prime Minister George Gair will push for a much more moderate budget which will not include the closure of unprofitable railway lines and much less severe cut on unemployment benefits.”

-TVNZ News Report in 12 May 1976

“After a month of negotiations, a new budget finally passed. This budget, by many experts, has been named “Soup Budget” due to many compromises made in the budget. These compromises included increased budget on the rural railways and small cuts on unemployment benefits. Thanks to these compromises, the budget gained the support of both the rebel National Party members led by Rob Muldoon and the Social Credit Party. Despite the passing of the budget, however, Finance Minister Derek Quigley said that “he was not happy with the changes happening to his budget.””

-TVNZ News Report in 19 June 1976


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Prime Minister Bill Rowling

“And, as the election finally ended, it became obvious that the National Party lost its majority, by losing five of their seats to the Labor Party and one of their seats to the Social Credit Party. Also, all the new constituencies were gained by the Labor Party. This means Prime Minister George Gair will be replaced by the leader of the Labor Party, Bill Rowling. Known for his superannuation scheme which was accepted by the National Party as well, he is also known for the establishment of the Rural Bank, which may lead the Social Credit Party to support some of his goals.“

-TVNZ News Report in 25 November 1978

“National Party entered, yet again, to a leadership race after the failure of former Prime Minister George Gair at retaining the position of the Prime Ministership. Candidates for the leadership election are former Finance Minister Derek Quigley, who represents the economically liberal wing of the party, and Peter Gordon, who represents the wing of the party that supported Rob Muldoon. Both of these candidates have disadvantages. Derek Quigley is best remembered for his radically liberal budgets that were forced to be moderated every time. Peter Gordon, on the other hand, is rumored to be forced for his candidacy by Rob Muldoon.”

-TVNZ News Report in 4 February 1979

“As the election ended, it became obvious that this election did not change anything, as every party in the Parliament kept the exact number of the seats they gained in the last election. This was due to the fact that the Labor Party retained a policy platform that only satisfied the members of the Labor Party, which included things like massive overseas borrowing and investing those money into the industries of New Zealand. The Social Credit Party managed to retain their seats due to the party’s loyal following amongst the rural residents of New Zealand and the fact that they still managed to keep rural provinces invested. The National Party, on the other hand, under the leadership of Peter Gordon, managed to keep all of their seats.”

-TVNZ News Report in 28 November 1981



(Rest of the news will be in the final chapter of the Alternate Book of the 1960s.)
 
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Deep Discomforts…
Deep Discomforts…

If deep discomforts are identified in the social body, the way to get rid of it for a moment is to cover the freedom demands with a shawl and to establish an authority from up to down.

Nihat Erim, said in 1946 regarding the beginnings of multi-party era

When the Doğan Government was finally formed, most people had very mixed feelings. They found themselves with a Prime Minister not well-known, excluding the places he was governor of, and with a coalition government that clearly resented serving under the conditions of Talat Aydemir and his friends. Voters of the Justice Party were appalled by the fact that politicians they chose found themselves out of the government they were part of a few months ago, while CHP voters were relieved that they at least had the right to say something. The USA government, on the other hand, had one clear emotion. A big relief. Despite their fears of a civil war, it did not happen, and Turkey continued to be a loyal American ally. For now, at least…

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Dr. Cihat Abaoğlu, one of the unlucky academics who found themselves as a minister

On the side of the government, however, everything was a mess. Government was formed mostly of CHP and YTP members, with few independents, with alleged support for Talat Aydemir, founding themselves as ministers. It seemed like a perfect compromise. But, nobody likes compromises and this was indeed the case. CHP members were waiting for the Prime Minister’s downfall in 1965, so that they could replace him. YTP members were uncomfortable in the government, due to their right-wing policies. And, few independents in the government were isolated at ministries with not that much political influence. In short, Prime Minister Doğan was alone at the top of a government that wanted him to fall as soon as possible.

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New Leader of Justice Party, Sadettin Bilgiç

There was also the fact that Prime Minister Doğan had no idea what to do, other than the fact that he wanted to stabilize the country. So, for a few days, there was not much chaos in the government. Then, the voting for the stripping of the Justice Party MPs began. And, this time, the problem was the Assembly. Justice Party members were slowing down the voting as much as possible, while MPs with good connections, who were on the list, were using these favors to their advantage. Yet, when the voting ended, eighty three MPs of the Justice Party found themselves without a position, with seventeen MPs saving themselves mostly by their connections. The Justice Party found their caucus reduced from 158 MPs to 75 MPs. This was so massive of an embarrassment that party members quickly deposed their current leader, retired general Ragıp Gümüşpala and replaced him with Sadettin Bilgiç, a conservative politician that was not liked by the military. This was seen as an insult to the colonels who wanted to get rid of the influence of the Democrat Party.

If that was not enough, law required by-elections to happen in the seats without MPs. And, polls showed that nearly all of the districts were going to elect a MP from the Justice Party. And, with Sadettin Bilgiç heavily campaigning in the districts to elect the candidates of the Justice Party, chances for another candidate winning was slim. And, this would be a disaster, as the Junta of Talat Aydemir was getting more powerful and more bold. So, the government was thinking of a way to keep compliant with the Colonels. While they were thinking of what to do with this situation, Prime Minister Doğan went to the radio station to make his famous “Deep Discomforts” speech.

In the speech, he said that there were deep discomforts in the country and he will try to fix all of these deep discomforts with any means possible, with the conclusion that “New reforms in order to fix this country will come”.
 
Medicine for Illness
Medicine for Illness

Doctors did not understand but I am ill. I know my illness: Despair, resentment…

Aziz Nesin, written in his book “Zübük”

And, the first new reform proposed after the PM’s speech was a new electoral reform. When its contents were read, everyone realized it was a desperate attempt to not let the Justice Party win that many seats in the by-elections. And, the solution came in three ways. Allowing the start of election campaigns only two weeks before the election, allowing alliances to happen between parties and banning independents to run in by-elections. And, as everyone can expect, it caused controversy in both the Assembly and in the halls of jurists. Reactions were small in the Assembly compared to the reactions of the jurists. While election campaign restraints were bad, the other two articles were not harmful. Independent candidates, in the 1951 by-elections, barely won ten thousand votes in all twenty cities in total. There was also the fact that the Justice Party generally won their seats by a majority of the votes, which meant alliance was not going to harm them either. On the side of jurists, fiery discussions continued for days about the reform. To them, it restricted the right to be elected significantly, as it banned independents from running. And, that was it. Most people did not care about this bill in the slightest, as they were busy with their life.

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Colonel Talat Aydemir and His Friends

So, the electoral reform passed from both the Assembly and the Senate. No one was sure how it was going to help the chances of winning seats of the CHP-YTP coalition, yet it still passed. And, when the ballot boxes were opened, it was obvious that it did not help that much. Out of eighty three seats, only eight seats were won by the CHP-YTP alliance, with six of them belonging to the YTP. This was too little for satisfying the Colonels. So, Talat Aydemir and his three closest allies, including now Lieutenant Colonel Fethi Gürcan, decided to visit Prime Minister Doğan to give him new reform ideas. And, after this rather tense meeting, Prime Minister Doğan would go to his assistants to task them with the preparation of a new electoral reform.

Newest electoral reform, unlike the previous reform, was a massive stepstone even if it failed. It required ballot papers to be filled with handwriting to be valid, which meant illiterate people were going to be excluded from voting. It also bringed back the majoritarian system used between 1946-1960. While Prime Minister Doğan was expecting a bad reaction, it was even worse than he expected. All parties, including the coalition partners of Prime Minister Doğan, refused to vote for the bill, and it seemed like it wouldn’t even pass from the committee responsible for the bill. And, backroom deals were not a choice, as the reform was seen as detrimental by every MP. But, there was some hope for the reform. Leader of CHP and Minister of Foreign Affairs, İsmet İnönü, professed he would convince the party to vote in favor of the reform should the literacy tests be removed, with YTP voting for it in case of CHP voting for it. Yet, this was going to anger Colonels, who were sick of compromises who never gave them anything.

No one had an idea what to do or what not to do in this age, it seemed like.
 
Compromises upon Compromises
Compromises upon Compromises

“If situations where laws didn’t guess appear, law, not the situations, should be changed.”

İdris Küçükömer, written in his book “Sivil Toplum Yazıları”

Political situation of the sixty nine years old Prime Minister, Mehmet Avni Doğan, became even more shaky after his newest “Electoral Reform Bill”. He knew that even the few friends of his that remained in the Parliament were not supportive of his new bill. Yet, he had a few tricks in his hands that were named “compromise”. But, unlike the last time, he also had to compromise with the Colonels, who wanted the bill to pass without any changes. So, only a few months after his last negotiation, he once again found himself in the smoke filled rooms.

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New Minister of Economics, İdris Küçükömer

Prime Minister Doğan knew that he was never going to convince the Parliament if he did not remove the “Illiterate can’t vote” clause. So, his first, and most important, target was to convince Colonel Talat Aydemir to agree to a compromise. So, talks begin first in the tea gardens of Ankara, followed by the house of Talat Aydemir, with little success. Talat Aydemir was stubborn about the issue, and Prime Minister Doğan was unsuccessful at convincing Talat Aydemir to a compromise. This was until the topic went to Associate Professor İdris Küçükömer, an academic specialized in economics with well-known support for the Talat Aydemir and his junta. In this talk, Prime Minister Doğan would finally get what he wanted and would see Talat Aydemir agree to a compromise. In exchange for naming İdris Küçükömer as his Minister of Economics, that is.

So, the newest “Electoral Reform Bill” was withdrawn from the committee by the Prime Minister, and was replaced by the even more new “Electoral Reform Bill” which was the same as the old one but without the illiteracy clause. At the same time, the current Minister of Economics found himself out of a job, as Associate Professor İdris Küçükömer moved into his new office. This development was not well-welcomed by the other, partisan, government members as there was another supporter of the Talat Aydemir in the government.

On the other hand, after lots of backroom deals and negotiations, CHP and YTP decided to vote for the “Electoral Reform Bill”. And, despite some defections from both parties to vote for no, the bill passed. The D'Hondt System with party-list proportional system that was used only in 1961 Elections was replaced with the majoritarian system used in the years between 1946-1960, which meant that any candidate that won the simple majority was going to be a MP.

While the electoral reforms, mixed with the new Minister of Economics who was sympathetic to the Junta of Talat Aydemir, was enough to make the “dissolved” Armed Forces Union happy. Yet, this made the government less popular with the parties of the right who saw the government kowtowing to the Talat Aydemir, while also increasing the opposition inside the YTP and CHP with rumors of severe divisions in the government parties. There was also the fact that socialist policy attempts of the new Minister of Economics, İdris Küçükömer, were often stopped by the cabinet, which meant he was frustrated as well.

Cabinet was becoming increasingly divided and unworkable, as YTP and CHP members were beginning to question their role in the government while few independents that were sympathetic to the cause of Talat Aydemir were becoming even more marginalized. Nobody had an idea how the government was going to function. And nobody had an idea for the coming storm called 1963 Local Elections…
 
Chaos, Chaos, Chaos…
Chaos, Chaos, Chaos…

“The chaos of events.”

John Milton, written in his book “Prophecy of Dante”


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Symbol of YTP

When 1963 Local Elections were finished and ballot boxes were opened, it was obvious that one party was punished by its voters for being a “Lackspittle of Talat Aydemir ''. YTP, liberal-conservative party with a base in Eastern provinces of Turkey. YTP was not able to win the mayor position of any city, while winning only twenty five districts. This was a disaster for the party. And many of the higher-ups of the party blamed their participation in the government as the reason for their failure. Many of the party members wanted to pull out of the government. Yet, Ekrem Alican, leader of the party, was hesitant about pulling out of the government. On one hand, it could let them regain their supporters, but it could also cause the government to fall, which would mean a reaction by the Talat Aydemir’s, increasingly powerful, junta.

While YTP leaders were discussing their opinions, the leadership of the AP, a right-wing party who was a successor of the dissolved DP, were very happy. They not only won forty five cities, they also destroyed their main rivals, the government. Members of the AP were pretty sure that their leader, Sadettin Bilgiç, was going to be the new Prime Minister and the tyranny of Colonels was going to end. CHP, on the other hand, was in a period of uncertainty, they were not as harmed as their partner YTP, yet they did not have any glory either.

Government’s was becoming even more divided as the result of the election. Ministers with YTP background were increasingly wanting to move out of the cabinet, Ministers with CHP background were waiting for 1965 Elections, so that they could get out of the government, without being overthrown by Colonel Talat Aydemir and Ministers who are independent just wants to return to their former professions, aka return to being a professor.

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Prime Minister Mehmet Avni Doğan

This was the government seventy one years old Mehmet Avni Doğan was forced to face. He had no idea how he could make more reforms as he promised to. And, worse, he was increasingly getting frustrated with the political side of things, which also reflected on his health.

Situation seemed to not get even worse. Yet, it did. On the day of the new year, Prime Minister Mehmet Avni Doğan suffered a heart attack. He was hurried to the hospital, yet it didn’t work. He would die on the way to the hospital. The chaos of the events ended with the biggest of the chaos. The Prime Minister was dead, and no one had an idea who could replace him, as there was no proper line of succession in the Turkish government. Even worse was the fact that everyone had a different idea for a new prime minister.

A secret announcement for an emergency meeting by the Deputy Prime Minister Ekrem Alican was made as soon as he learned of the death of the Prime Minister. And, when all the ministers came and doors were closed, he announced the death of the Prime Minister to all the ministers. And, the meeting truly began after the announcement. CHP members were suggesting İsmet İnönü as their PM, while YTP members wanted Ekrem Alican as their PM. And, the situation got even worse when Talat Aydemir and his Colonels struck.

Colonels, after hearing this from a spy of theirs about the whole situation, had no idea what to do. Should they do another coup? Or, should they release another memorandum “suggesting” a new Prime Minister? Fiery discussions about this issue continued for a few hours until the colonels, wanting to write another memorandum, won. But who was going to be the new Prime Minister? It needed to be inside the cabinet, but also needed to have sympathies towards Colonel Talat Aydemir. And, also, he needed to be non-controversial enough to be accepted by the cabinet. And they found the politician they wanted.

When the memorandum was sent to the government, most of the cabinet, shockingly, agreed on their new Prime Minister. Reason was simple. Person in question was an unpolitical minister who was seen as easily controllable.There were, of course, people who opposed this. And one of them was the person who the Colonels wanted to see as their PM, Minister of Health, Dr. Cihat Abaoğlu. He did not want to be Prime Minister, he just wanted to return to his seat at the university and wanted to stay out of politics as much as possible. But, life is not fair.

Two days after the passing of Prime Minister Doğan, Dr. Cihat Abaoğlu was announced as the new Prime Minister, and with the support of both of his coalition partners, his government survived the vote of no confidence.
 
Effects of 22 February Events on the Turkish Cultural Life-Part One
Effects of 22 February Events on the Turkish Cultural Life-Part One

“”Meçhulden Başbakana” is one of the most famous novels set during 22 February Events. Written by Aziz Nesin, one of the most well-known Turkish writers focusing on political satire, it was about a virtually unknown MP who found himself as the Prime Minister due to the fact that he was friends with a colonel who tried to overthrow the government when they were children. Book, despite using fictional characters, obviously mocks the sudden “election” of Mehmet Avni Doğan and events that happened during his term. This novel is much shorter than many of the novels written by Aziz Nesin, yet still has the same satire as his other books.”

-A Review about the “Meçhulden Başbakana”

“”Altmışlar”, a new tv series made by the MinT, company best known for their mediocre sitcoms, is a mediocre sitcom about the turbulent years of the 1960s. Revolving around a lower-middle class family, it tells the 1960s in their viewpoint. While it would have been nice to not have any laugh effects, it is Mint, so we shouldn’t be shocked about it. Best thing about this sitcom is the decor design and the fact that they used real sound recordings of the important events for the radio. Yet, as I said, it is too long and too drawn out, so I would suggest this sitcom only to people who like long and drawn out sitcoms.”

-A Review about the “Altmışlar”
 
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Same Old Stuff
Same Old Stuff

“Every advance in civilization has been denounced as unnatural while it was recent.”

Bertrand Russell, written by in his book “Unpopular Essays”

As the days passed since the inauguration of Prime Minister Cihat Abaoğlu, it became obvious that status-quo of Mehmet Avni Doğan was not going to change. Ministers from YTP and CHP continued to do things without asking the Prime Minister, independent ministers were all isolated and Prime Minister Cihat Abaoğlu, even more than the late Prime Minister Mehmet Avni Doğan, was getting frustrated in his job. There were some reforms, such as the “Mine Nationalization Law” which nationalized few privately owned mines or the “Health Reform” which included things like sending many doctors to the rural provinces of Turkey. However, other than these reforms, everything stayed the same.

And, status-quo continued like this. People went to their jobs normally, Colonel Talat Aydemir and his friends still planned coups in event of the dissolution of Cihat Abaoğlu government, opposition continued to decry Abaoğlu Government as the puppet of Colonel Talat Aydemir and the government continued to bicker…

Years passed like this until the year of 1965, the year of the general elections. Given the massive race for the government position, election campaigns immediately begin. Mudslinging, rumors and fiery speeches were heard by pretty much everyone in Turkey. And, every party had their own strategies.

CHP’s strategy was keeping their voters inside the party and keep the party from splitting while also keeping the Colonels not angry, given the fact they were still in the government. So, in order to both not make Colonels angry and to amend the differences between the right and the left of the party, they published a very centrist and Kemalist manifesto that many described as too bureaucratic. And, they were repeatedly under attack by the Justice Party, who said that they were puppets of the Colonels. Only advantage CHP had was the new election bill, which employed a majoritarian system.

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Leader of AP, Sadettin Bilgiç

The Justice Party, on the other hand, had two main goals. Gaining as much as voters from the dying YTP and to appeal to the anti-Colonel voters in Turkey. And, they were successful in it with their leader, Sadettin Bilgiç, denouncing the Colonels several times, which gave him lots of love from the people sick of the Colonels and death threats from the Colonels.

YTP’s strategy had only one goal. Keeping their voters together. It had been obvious that YTP was losing its steam severely since the terrible results they had in the 1964 Local Elections. So, they campaigned as much as possible in the seats they already had, to very little success.

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Leader of CKMP, Osman Bölükbaşı

And, finally, CKMP. Party of Bölükbaşı. Their goal was similar to the goal of the YTP, however, unlike them, they successfully managed to do it.

Campaigns ended one week before the elections, and waiting began. Everyone was nervous about this. Colonels were making coup plans, CHP-YTP Coalition were hoping that they wouldn't lose their seats and both CKMP and Justice Party wanted to exploit the dislike towards the military imposed government. And, when the ballots all across the country began to be counted, nervousness increased. And, when the election results were announced, it was obvious that nobody was going to enjoy their plans.



While we will continue Turkish chapter, for now, I will leave it in a cliffhanger and will began posting another chapter.

After it's finish, we will return to Turkey.
 
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A Small Blam… New
NOTE: I will be busy for few days, so I will post chapters that was already written several days ago.


A Small Blam…

“Have you not subdued the whole district, and could you not have taken a few hundred strong men as slaves to have carried all your superfluous stock and the small ivory, and put your one hundred guns in charge?”

Tippu Tip, said in a book called “Five Years with the Congo Cannibals”

When dates showed the year of 1964, the Sultanate of Zanzibar was a massive gunpowder barrel, waiting for a fire to explode. A former protectorate of the United Kingdom that became independent a few months ago, it was a country with lots of ethnic tensions. Arabs and South Asians, amounting to seventy thousand, controlled most of the trade and business sectors and thus were richer compared to the Africans, amounting to two hundred and thirty thousand. These ethnic tensions were also pretty active in politics, as Arabs controlled the Zanzibar Nationalist Party and Africans controlled the Afro-Shirazi Party.

And when the British announced the free elections for the island nation, all hell let loose. In the country's first election, both parties gained eleven seats of the twenty two seats in the Parliament. So, the country had its second election in a few months. During this election, Zanzibar Nationalist Party entered into an alliance with a breakaway of their party, Zanzibar and Pemba People’s Party. And this alliance won the elections, despite the fact that Afro-Shirazi Party won most of the vote. People rioted against the alleged election fraud and these riots caused the death of sixty eight people, and gave an excuse to the government to crackdown on radical opposition parties and for purges.

The 1963 Elections saw even worse gerrymandering as the Afro-Shirazi Party, which won fifty four percent of the vote, only gained thirteen out of thirty one seats. These results saw the ZNP-ZPPP Alliance gaining even more power. Socialist Umma Party, dominated by Arabs, was banned and all policemen of African origin were dismissed, which many thought was one of the reasons for the revolution. There was also the fact that the Arabian dominated government wanted close ties with Arab countries like Egypt, compared to the African majority who wanted close ties with African countries.

Government had a patronizing view on the Africans and was widely seen illegitimate at the eyes of the African majority. And, their drastic spending cuts for schools in black dominated areas, did not help this situation, as it showed to the Africans that the government wanted to keep them as second class citizens. In short, Zanzibar was a bomb that was going to explode in any minute if there was a fire near it. And, that fire’s name was John Okello.

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John Okello

A charismatic bricklayer from the country of Uganda, he quickly became an official in Zanzibar and Pemba Paint Workers' Union and joined the ASP as an activist. He also had a massive following among the Africans and planned a revolution since he came there. And, he decided the best time to strike was 12 January 1964, one month after the independence of Zanzibar.

Around 3 am, the revolution began. Mainly African men with numbers between six hundred to eight hundred begin their attacks against the radio station, armories and police stations in Unguja. Despite their terrible equipment, they had many advantages like their numbers and the element of surprise. So, they seemed to win the revolution. Then, their leader John Okello made a daring move and tried to wrestle a rifle from a police sentry. And, all hell broke after it. A small bang noise was heard, and when people looked, they realized John Okello was lying in the ground lifeless. Most of the rebels were shocked with half of them fleeing. With this, police officers gained an advantage and finally managed to break the siege, with remaining rebels either fleeing or dying.
 
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