World Bulletin / News Desk
Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu paid a visit to the mausoleum of a former prime minister who was executed after the May 27, 1960 coup on the occasion of the anniversary of his execution, in an apparent step to counter the much-criticized pro-coup stance the party held during the coup period.
Kılıçdaroğlu visited the grave of Adnan Menderes at the Topkapı Cemetery in İstanbul and spoke to reporters after the visit.
The CHP leader had previously stated that Menderes was an esteemed person who had made great contributions to the country, remarks regarded by many as a blow to the image of the CHP as a supporter of coups.
Kılıçdaroğlu's recent visit also came as a surprise due to the CHP's historically pro-coup stance.
“We should admit that all the political executions carried out in the past were murders,” Kılıçdaroğlu said on Monday, adding that he came there to wipe clean the negative image of the CHP.
“We learned our lessons from history,” the CHP leader stated, adding those coup victims who were executed had done a great service to this country.
Kılıçdaroğlu also reiterated that Turkey urgently needs peace and stability.
On May 27, 1960, the Turkish military overthrew the government of then-Prime Minister Adnan Menderes. Menderes and his fellow Democrat Party (DP) members were tried in 14 separate cases on Yassıada, an island in the Sea of Marmara. The judges overseeing the case handed down 15 death penalties, 12 life sentences and hundreds of long-term imprisonments. Three of the executions were carried out: Menderes, Foreign Minister Fatin Rüştü Zorlu and Finance Minister Hasan Polatkan were hanged.
In 1950, Menderes's DP swept to power with a crushing victory over the CHP in the parliamentary elections. The elections ushered in an era after which the CHP was unable to return to power on its own. The DP was victorious in elections in 1955 and 1957 as well. Angered by grinding defeats in the past three elections, the CHP started to accuse the ruling party of violating the constitution then in place and began to provoke the military against the DP government. A failed assassination plot against then-CHP leader İsmet İnönü in the western province of Uşak in 1959 increased the tension between the ruling and opposition parties.
Celal Bayar, who was president at the time, was also among the 15 sentenced to death after the coup, but his execution was not carried out because of his advanced age.
“They [the CHP] were directly behind the coup. The CHP and the junta nested within the armed forces hoped to rise to power with the coup,” Bayar later stated.
Leaders highlight joint efforts against terrorism in telephone call
Turkey's ruling party seeks opposition support in parliament for a referendum early summer
Imam Mustafa Efe of Istanbul's Aziz Mahmud Hudayi mosque has recorded a touching video of a cat listening to a recitation of the Quran
55 arrest warrants were issued Saturday by Istanbul prosecutor's office
Shelters and logistics center were also destroyed in operation in Gara region
Horses that have been an indispensable part of life Turkey in which they have been a constant companion throughout the history of Turks
Greek minister's anti-Turkey remarks 'lack manners, cognition and responsibility,' says Turkish Defense Ministry
Vehicle bomb detonated in front of a gendarmerie station
An arrest warrant for the four was also withdrawn, Gulden Sonmez, a lawyer for the victims, wrote on Twitter after a closed door hearing in Istanbul.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says some nations still 'indifferent in standing up for others' rights'
Peoples’ Democratic Party's Imam Tascier is accused of spreading terror propaganda for protesting curfew in eastern Turkey
Recep Tayyip Erdogan to meet his Kazakh counterpart during visit starting Sunday
Cavusoglu tells OSCE meeting that FETO is active in 170 countries
Presidential spokesman Kalin says Operation Euphrates Shield continues with determination according to plan
Total number of Syrian refugees living in Turkey amounts to almost 2.8 million as of Dec. 1