Mehmet Ali Aybar

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Mehmet Ali Aybar (pronounced [mehmet aɫi ajbaɾ]; October 5, 1908 – July 10, 1995) was an international lawyer, member of the Turkish parliament, the first president of the Workers Party of Turkey (Turkish: Türkiye İşçi Partisi or briefly TİP), the founder and President of the Socialist Revolution Party, and a member of the Russell Tribunal against the war crimes of the United States in Vietnam.


Mehmet Ali Aybar was born in Istanbul in 1905. He was a great-grandson of the German-born Ottoman soldier Mehmed Ali Pasha, and thus a relative of the famed Turkish poets Nâzım Hikmet and Oktay Rıfat Horozcu, as well as the statesman Ali Fuat Cebesoy. He studied at Galatasaray High School, and graduated from Istanbul University's School of Law.[1] He then moved to Paris to continue his legal studies. It was in Paris that he was exposed to Marxist literature.[1] Upon returning to Istanbul he became assistant professor of international law at the same Law School he graduated from.[1] His academic career was hampered by his communist leanings, he was eventually expelled from the University in 1946.[1] His writing for an Istanbul magazine entitled Hur engendered anger on the part of the government and he was briefly imprisoned.

In 1950, Aybar was pardoned and began practicing law in Istanbul.[1] He continued his activist writings and began participating in protests against the government. This led to his second arrest.[2] After his release from prison in 1962, he became chairman of the Labor Party of Turkey (LPT).[3] It was only after he ascended to party leadership that intellectuals began to take the party seriously. Aybar's credibility drew academics to the party[4] As the leader of the party he and his associates were responsible for the direction and success of the party.[3] One of the primary tenents of the party was to resist Turkey's subservience to American influence.[5] Aybar personally opposed the Soviet Union's invasion of Czechoslovakia and this caused contradictions in the party.[6] In 1971 he resigned from TİP as a result of his ideological split with party leadership over the Czechoslovakia issue.[7] In 1975 he founded Socialist Party (later called Socialist Revolution Party). This party was closed by the military coup in 1980.[8]

Aybar was also a member of the International War Crimes Tribunal which was founded by Bertrand Russell.[9]


He participated in the 1928 Summer Olympics as track and field athlete for Turkey. He was eliminated in the first round of the 100 metres event. He was also a member of the Turkish team which was eliminated in the first round of the 4×100 metre relay competition.[10] Mehmet Ali Aybar was born in Istanbul and died on July 10, 1995 in İstanbul.[10]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Landau (1974), p. 124
  2. Landau (1974), pp. 124–125
  3. 3.0 3.1 Landau (1974), p. 125
  4. Lockman (1994) p. 146
  5. Dodd (1969) p. 150
  6. Zürcher (2004) p. 255
  7. Zürcher (2004) p. 384–385
  8. Lipovsky (1992) pp. 131–145
  9. "The International War Crimes Tribunal". 911review. Retrieved 2009-05-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Mehmet Ali Aybar". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 2009-05-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


Party political offices
Preceded by
Kemal Türkler
Leader of the Workers Party of Turkey (TİP)
Succeeded by
M. Ali Aslan