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When America said: “Our boys succeeded.” The 1980 coup was the bloodiest in Turkey’s history

Amman Today

publish date 2021-09-13 09:56:41

Among the five coups that the Turkish Republic has experienced during the past six decades, the coup of September 12, 1980 was the most terrifying and bloody, due to the large number of executions and practices that flagrantly violated human rights, to the point of describing Turkey’s darkest nights. It was also described as the most anti-democratic coup due to the banning of political parties, the exile of their leaders outside the country, the closure of Parliament and the suspension of the constitution.

The coup of September 12, 1980, or as the generals implementing it described it as “the flag operation,” is the third military coup in order after the coup of May 27, 1960, in which the then Prime Minister Adnan Menderes was executed, and the military ultimatum that targeted the government of Suleiman Demirel on March 12, 1971, and the second that overthrew the Demirel governments in 1971 and 1980.

Despite being the bloodiest and a violation of democracy and human rights, the United States and some Western countries did not only welcome the military’s move that disrupted democracy in Turkey, but some in the US State Department said: “Our boys succeeded” after the news of the coup reached Washington. The American Times magazine also placed a picture of the leader of the coup army, Kenan Evren, on the cover of its magazine, and presented him to the world as the unifier of Turkey after his implementation of the September 12 coup.

Several military coups took place in Turkey during the last century..you know the most prominent of them pic.twitter.com/QsC5zwFmmX— TRT Arabic (@TRTArabi) May 27, 2020

The period before the coup

During the 1970s, Turkey witnessed a continuous state of political instability. Successive Turkish governments were unable to withstand, as they were formed based on multiple party alliances and consensuses, which was a reason to resolve them when any small disagreement occurred. In addition to political instability, that era witnessed fighting, internal conflict and assassinations, as well as deteriorating economic conditions, which together were a pretext for the intervention of the military under the pretext of protecting the Turkish Republic and the principles of Ataturk on which it was founded.

It is noteworthy that the military’s preparations for the coup operation began about 3 months before the implementation of the coup at the headquarters of the General Staff, specifically in June 1980, and it was planned to implement them at the dawn of July 11, 1980, but Demirel’s government obtained confidence after a vote of 2 July of the same year was the reason for postponing the date of carrying out the coup until the dawn of September 12.

At 3 a.m. on September 12, the army took control of the offices of the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT), the Turkish Post and Telecommunications (PTT) offices, and other communications offices, in addition to the headquarters of the Ministry of the Interior, the General Directorate of Security and Police, the residence of Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel, and government centers. Others without any confrontations, in preparation for the announcement of the coup statement.

The coup of September 12, 1980

At four o’clock in the morning on September 12, 1980, the official TRT radio broadcast the first military statement, which stated: “The purpose of the operation is to protect the unity of the homeland, to ensure national unity and solidarity, to prevent the outbreak of civil war and fraternal quarrels, and to re-establish the authority of the state. and its existence, and the removal of the reasons that prevent the functioning of the democratic system,” thus declaring the establishment of the so-called “National Security Council,” which in turn dissolved the constitution, and declared martial law, ending the powers of the Demirel government, banning political parties, as well as dissolving Parliament.

As the government of Suleyman Demirel was dissolved after the military memorandum in 1971, his government was again dissolved by a military coup, this time led by the putschist General Kenan Evren and his military companions, and the coup plotters took over the management of the country completely. While the period following the coup witnessed an unprecedented state of political repression and unrest in which many people were killed and thousands arrested. Demirel and a number of political figures were also exiled, most notably Bulent Ecevit, Necmettin Erbakan and Alp Arslan Türkç.

The coup resulted in a state of political repression that the Republic of Turkey had not witnessed before, 517 people were sentenced to death, 50 were executed, 171 died under torture, 650,000 citizens were arrested, 1,683,000 were placed under surveillance, 30,000 were dismissed from their jobs and citizenship was withdrawn from Another 14 thousand.

The matter was not limited to political and humanitarian violations only, but also went beyond them to write a new constitution that was submitted to a referendum on November 7, 1982, after which Evren became President of the Republic until 1989.

Evren trial after 30 years

Although the coup constitution included “the 15th provisional article” that prevents the trial of the coup leader and his aides from the National Security Council, Kenan Evren and his aides from the “National Security Council” throughout their lives, the Turkish people did not forget the atrocities of that coup attempt, so the aforementioned article was canceled after 30 years in the referendum on constitutional amendments which took place on September 12, 2010, and the Turks submitted complaints to the judiciary against those responsible for the coup and those who followed their instructions.

Following the reports, the trial of the surviving generals from the group that planned and carried out the coup was launched in 2012. In 2014, the Tenth Criminal Court sentenced the former chief of staff and the seventh president of the Turkish Republic, Kenan Evren, who said: “I prefer suicide over my trial,” and the commander of the forces. The former Air Force One, retired Lieutenant-General Ali Tahsin Shaheen Kaya, against the background of their leadership of the military coup in 1980.

While the Court of Cassation was examining the case, Evren died on May 10, 2015 at the age of 98, and Shahin Kaya followed him on July 9, 2015 at the age of 90.

TRT Arabic

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Source : ألدستور

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