Welfare Party

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Refah Partisi (RP). Turkish Islamist political organization established in 1983 as heir to two earlier parties, Milli Nizam Partisi (National Order Party, MNP) and Milli Selamet Partisi (National Salvation Party, MSP), which were successively banned from politics. Each of the three parties was led by Necmettin Erbakan. MNP was banned before it could stand for elections; MSP participated in two coalition governments before being shut down following the 1980 military coup. The RP participated in elections and in 1995 won more parliamentary seats than any other party. Erbakan became prime minister in 1996 at the head of a coalition government but was forced out of power by the military in 1997. The RP was outlawed in 1998. The Fazilet Partisi (Virtue Party, FP) was soon organized and became identified as the Islamically oriented party. The RP advocated stronger ties with other Muslim countries and an economic system based on Islamic morals rather than global capitalist ideas.

Subjects: Islam.

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