After failing to take power by revolution, Hitler now decided that he would achieve his aims through elections. In 1928, the Nazis received less than one million votes out of thirty-one million and they only had 12 seats in the German parliament - the Reichstag. In 1930, the votes increased to six and a half million and the Nazis had 107 places in the Reichstag. A confident Hitler decided to run for president in 1932 against Field Marshall Paul von Hindenburg. Hindenburg, who was a national war hero, was up for reelection. But Hitler faced a stumbling block, since he was not a German citizen, he could not legally run for the presidency. He quickly solved this problem by having the Minister of the Interior of the state of Brunswick appoint Hitler as attaché of the legation of Brunswick. By becoming an attaché, Hitler automatically became a German citizen. Now the path was clear for him to run for the presidency. Hitler did not win the election, he only received 37% of the votes, Hindenburg was reelected.
Hitler was not elected into power, he was appointed Chancellor by president Hindenburg, and that was done as a last resort. Hitler was the last person in a virtual 'parade of Chancellors' that was appointed by Hindenburg, each one could not make a go of it. In May 1932, Hindenburg appointed Franz von Papen, a conservative aristocrat whom no one took seriously, as Chancellor but he was soon ousted by Kurt von Schleicher, the devious Defense Minister, who was then appointed Chancellor. Since Hitler was the only conservative politician to have power with the masses, Schleicher thought that he could use him and control him. Schleicher also wanted to stormtroopers to be connected to the army so that he could control them too. Hitler, however, could not be used; He wanted the Chancellorship and he flatly refused anything less. He would not share power with anyone or join any coalition government.
1993: Tansu Ciller of the True Path Party becomes the new prime minister.
1995: The Islamist Welfare Party becomes the largest party after the elections, making it hard for the other parties of Turkey to form a new government without having their support.
1996: A new government is constituted on an agreement between the True Path Party, and the Welfare Party. The leader of the Welfare Party, Necmettin Erbakan, becomes prime minister. The agreement between the two parties, involved that Ciller would become prime minister in 1998.
1997: Erbakan is forced to resign as prime minister in Turkey, after a long time campaign of the military forces. Mesut Yilmaz joins forces with Tansu Ciller, and forms a new government with himself as prime minister.
1998 January: Erbakan's Welfare Party is outlawed by the Turkish constitutional court.
— November 25: The government of Mesut Yilmaz falls, following the loss in an parliamentary vote of confidence. For the weeks that followed, Yilmaz continued to govern Turkey.
1999 January 17: Bülent Ecevit wins a confidence vote in the Turkish national assembly, getting the support of Tansu Ciller's True Path Party, as well as Mesut Yilmaz' Motherland Party.
These developments exacerbated tensions between the military and the Welfare Party, which had been building due to disagreement over the expulsion of Islamist officers from the army in December 1996, the Welfare Party's attempt to sign a defense cooperation agreement with Iran, Welfare's call for lifting the ban on head-covering for female university students and civil servants, the dispute over building a mosque at Istanbul's Taksim Square, the Iranian-inspired Jerusalem Night (January 31, 1997) in the Welfare-controlled Sincan district of Ankara where anti-regime slogans were shouted, and Erbakan's reluctance to endorse the National Security Council's February 28, 1997 meeting that called for curbing Islamist activities.
The Welfare Party's anti-democratic position on several issues also disappointed secular public opinion. For example, Erbakan and Justice Minister Sevket Kazan made critical and insulting comments about people who took part in the "One Minute of Darkness for Enlightenment" civil protest in February 1997. (22) Welfare's support for constitutional changes made some worry that it was trying to dilute the secular state. Women worried about the reduction of their rights. (23) The party's allegiance to democracy was also called into question. Islamist dailies including Akit and Yeni Safak were also severely critical of the January-February 1997 protest. Finally, there were many allegations (24) that the Welfare Party had connections with militant Islamist groups.
As a result, the tension between the military and the Welfare Party and the antagonism between the Islamists and secular public opinion escalated. This provided a legitimate framework to bring the Welfare Party to court in May 1997. Consequently, Erbakan was banned from politics and the Welfare Party was outlawed in January 1998 by the Constitutional Court on the grounds that it violated the principles of secularism and the law of the political parties. Moreover, on June 28, 1998, Erbakan was charged with defaming the Constitutional Court by saying that the Court's ruling had no historic value and would eventually rebound against those who had made it. (25) By dissolving the party, the ruling left more than 100 seats vacant in parliament and orphaned local administrations.
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