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.
Mortar fired from northern Iraq hits hill in southeastern Hakkari province
Deployment of Turkish army in Qatar is in line with 2014 bilateral cooperation deal, Foreign Ministry spokesman says
Port city's 2 airports witness traffic of over 114,000 flights in April and May, state airport administration figures shows
Turkish president says demands by Saudi-led blockade 'breach of Qatar's sovereignty rights'
Latest operation comes just a day ahead of Eid al-Fitr
Turkish president, prime minister and army chief issue Eid al-Fitr messages
Friday's PKK attack in eastern Bingol province had left the soldier in critical condition
Soldiers injured by improvised explosive in rural area of Bingol's Genc district
Counterterrorism operations in Siirt province leave three terrorists dead, three others injured
BIST 100 index rises 0.11 percent; US dollar/Turkish lira rate stands at 3.5130
Number of properties sold to foreigners surged 10.1 percent year-on-year in May, TurkStat reports
Greece told to respect its Muslim minority after Athens hit out at Quran recital, call to prayer at Istanbul's Hagia Sophia
Beleaguered Gulf state to receive 4,000 tons of food amid ongoing embargo by Arab countries
Index sees decline of 3.8 pct monthly, according to Turkish Statistical Institute