1980 Turkish coup d'état

The 12 September 1980 Turkish coup d'état (Turkish: 12 Eylül Darbesi), headed by Chief of the General Staff General Kenan Evren, was the third coup d'état in the history of the Republic, the previous having been the 1960 coup and the 1971 "Coup by Memorandum". During the Cold War era, 1970s Turkey experienced conflicts between Western-supported nationalist far right elements within the military and militant left-wing groups.[1] To create a pretext for a decisive intervention, the Turkish military allowed these conflicts to escalate;[2][3] some say they actively adopted a strategy of tension.[4][5] The violence abruptly stopped afterwards,[6] and the coup was welcomed by some for restoring order.[2] In total, 50 people were executed, 500,000 were arrested and hundreds died in prison.[7]

For the next three years the Turkish Armed Forces ruled the country through the National Security Council, before democracy was restored.[8]


In 1975 Süleyman Demirel, president of the conservative Justice Party (Turkish: Adalet Partisi, AP) succeeded Bülent Ecevit, president of the social-democratic Republican People's Party (Turkish: Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi, CHP) as Prime Minister. He formed a coalition with the Nationalist Front (Turkish: Milliyetçi Cephe), Necmettin Erbakan's Islamist National Salvation Party (Turkish: Millî Selamet Partisi, MSP) and Alparslan Türkeş' far-right Nationalist Movement Party (Turkish: Milliyetçi Hareket Partisi, MHP). The MHP used the opportunity to infiltrate state security services, seriously aggravating the low-intensity war that was waging between rival factions.[9]

The elections of 1977 had no winner. First, Demirel continued the coalition with the Nationalist Front. But in 1978 Ecevit was able to get to power again with the help of some deputies who had shifted from one party to another. In 1979, Demirel once again became Prime Minister. At the end of the 1970s Turkey was in an unstable situation with unsolved economic and social problems facing strike actions and partial paralysis of politics (the Grand National Assembly of Turkey was unable to elect a President during the six months preceding the coup). Since 1968–69, a proportional representation system made it difficult to find any parliamentary majority. The interests of the industrial bourgeoisie, which held the largest holdings of the country, were opposed by other social classes such as smaller industrialists, traders, rural notables, landlords, whose interests did not always coincide among themselves. Numerous agricultural and industrial reforms requested by parts of the middle upper classes were blocked by others.[9] Henceforth, the politicians seemed unable to combat the growing violence in the country.

Unprecedented political violence had erupted in Turkey in the late 1970s. The overall death toll of the 1970s is estimated at 5,000, with nearly ten assassinations per day.[9] Most were members of left-wing and right-wing political organizations, then engaged in bitter fighting. The ultra-nationalist Grey Wolves, youth organisation of the MHP, claimed they were supporting the security forces.[8] According to the anti-fascist Searchlight magazine, in 1978 there were 3,319 fascist attacks, in which 831 were killed and 3,121 wounded.[10] In the central trial against the left-wing organization Devrimci Yol (Revolutionary Path) at Ankara Military Court the defendants listed 5,388 political killings before the military coup. Among the victims were 1,296 right-wingers and 2,109 left-wingers. The others could not clearly be related, but were most likely politically affiliated.[11] The 1978 Bahçelievler massacre, the 1977 Taksim Square massacre with 35 victims and the 1978 Maraş massacre with over 100 victims are some notable incidents. Martial law was announced following the Kahramanmaraş Massacre in 14 of (then) 67 provinces in December 1978. At the time of the coup martial law had been extended to 20 provinces.

Ecevit was warned about the coming coup in June 1979 by Nuri Gündeş of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT). Ecevit then told his interior minister, İrfan Özaydınlı, who then told Sedat Celasun—one of the five generals who would lead the coup. The deputy undersecretary of the MİT, Nihat Yıldız, was demoted to the London consulate and replaced by a lieutenant general as a result.[12]


On 11 September 1979, General Kenan Evren ordered a hand-written report from full general Haydar Saltık on whether a coup was in order or the government merely needed a stern warning. The report, which recommended preparing for a coup, was delivered in six months. Evren kept the report in his office safe.[13] Evren says the only other person beside Saltık who was aware of the details was Nurettin Ersin. It has been argued that this was a ploy on Evren's part to encompass the political spectrum as Saltık was close to the left, while Ersin took care of the right. Backlash from political organizations after the coup would therefore be prevented.[3]

On 21 December, the War Academy generals convened to decide the course of action. The pretext for the coup was to put an end to the social conflicts of the 1970s, as well as the parliamentary instability. They resolved to issue the party leaders (Süleyman Demirel and Bülent Ecevit) a memorandum by way of the president, Fahri Korutürk, which was done on 27 December. The leaders received the letter a week later.[13]

A second report, submitted in March 1980, recommended undertaking the coup without further delay, otherwise apprehensive lower-ranked officers might be tempted to "take the matter into their own hands".[13] Evren made only minor amendments to Saltık's plan, titled "Operation Flag" (Turkish: Bayrak Harekâtı).[3]

The coup was planned to take place on 11 July 1980, but was postponed after a motion to put Demirel's government to a vote of confidence was rejected on 2 July. At the Supreme Military Council meeting (Turkish: Yüksek Askeri Şura) on 26 August, a second date was proposed: 12 September.[13]

On 7 September 1980, Evren and the four service commanders decided that they would overthrow the civilian government. On 12 September, the National Security Council (Turkish: Milli Güvenlik Konseyi, MGK), headed by Evren declared coup d'état on the national channel. The MGK then extended martial law throughout the country, abolished the Parliament and the government, suspended the Constitution and banned all political parties and trade unions. They invoked the Kemalist tradition of state secularism and in the unity of the nation, which had already justified the precedent coups, and presented themselves as opposed to communism, fascism, separatism and religious sectarianism.[9]


One of the coup's most visible effects was on the economy. On the day of the coup, it was on the verge of collapse, with three digit inflation. There was large-scale unemployment, and a chronic foreign trade deficit. The economic changes between 1980 and 1983 were credited to Turgut Özal, who was the main person responsible for the economic policy by the Demirel Destined administration since 24 January 1980. Özal supported the IMF, and to this end he forced the resignation of the director of the Central Bank, İsmail Aydınoğlu, who opposed it.

The strategic aim was to unite Turkey with the "global economy," which big business supported,[14] and gave Turkish companies the ability to market products and services globally. One month after the coup, London's International Banking Review wrote "A feeling of hope is evident among international bankers that Turkey's military coup may have opened the way to greater political stability as an essential prerequisite for the revitalization of the Turkish economy".[15] During 1980–1983, the foreign exchange rate was allowed to float freely. Foreign investment was encouraged. The national establishments, initiated by Atatürk's Reforms, were promoted to involve joint enterprises with foreign establishments. The 85% pre-coup level government involvement in the economy forced a reduction in the relative importance of the state sector. Just after the coup, Turkey revitalized the Atatürk Dam and the Southeastern Anatolia Project, which was a land reform project promoted as a solution to the underdeveloped Southeastern Anatolia. It was transformed into a multi-sector social and economic development program, a sustainable development program, for the 9 million people of the region. The closed economy, produced for only Turkey's need, was subsidized for a vigorous export drive.

The drastic expansion of the economy during this period was relative to the previous level. The GDP remained well below those of most Middle Eastern and European countries. The government froze wages while the economy experienced a significant decrease of the public sector, a deflationist policy, and several successive mini-devaluations.[9]


The coup rounded up members of both the left and right for trial with military tribunals. Within a very short time, there were 250,000[8] to 650,000 people detained. Among the detainees, 230,000 were tried, 14,000 were stripped of citizenship, and 50 were executed.[16] In addition, hundreds of thousands of people were tortured, and thousands disappeared. A total of 1,683,000 people were blacklisted.[17] Apart from the militants killed during shootings, at least four prisoners were legally executed immediately after the coup; the first ones since 1972, while in February 1982 there were 108 prisoners condemned to capital punishment.[9] Among the prosecuted were Ecevit, Demirel, Türkeş, and Erbakan, who were incarcerated and temporarily suspended from politics.

One notable victim of the hangings was a 17-year-old Erdal Eren, who said he looked forward to it in order to avoid thinking of the torture he had witnessed.[18]

After having taken advantage of the Grey Wolves' activism, General Kenan Evren imprisoned hundreds of them. At the time they were some 1700 Grey Wolves organizations in Turkey, with about 200,000 registered members and a million sympathizers.[19] In its indictment of the MHP in May 1981, the Turkish military government charged 220 members of the MHP and its affiliates for 694 murders.[10] Evren and his cohorts realized that Türkeş was a charismatic leader who could challenge their authority using the paramilitary Grey Wolves.[20] Following the coup in Colonel Türkeş's indictment, the Turkish press revealed the close links maintained by the MHP with security forces as well as organized crime involved in drug trade, which financed in return weapons and the activities of hired fascist commandos all over the country.[9]


Within three years the generals passed some 800 laws in order to form a militarily disciplined society.[21] The coup members were convinced of the unworkability of the existing constitution. They decided to adopt a new constitution that included mechanisms to prevent what they saw as impeding the functioning of democracy. On 29 June 1981 the military junta appointed 160 people as members of an advisory assembly to draft a new constitution. The new constitution brought clear limits and definitions, such as on the rules of election of the president, which was stated as a factor for the coup d'état.

On 7 November 1982 the new constitution was put to a referendum, which was accepted with 92% of the vote. On 9 November 1982 Kenan Evren was appointed President for the next seven years.


  • 650,000 people were under arrest.
  • 1,683,000 people were blacklisted.
  • 230,000 people were tried in 210,000 lawsuits.
  • 7,000 people were recommended for the death penalty.
  • 517 people were sentenced to death.
  • 50 of those given the death penalty were executed (26 political prisoners, 23 criminal offenders and 1 ASALA militant).
  • The files of 259 people, which had been recommended for the death penalty, were sent to the National Assembly.
  • 71,000 people were tried by articles 141, 142 and 163 of Turkish Penal Code.
  • 98,404 people were tried on charges of being members of a leftist, a rightist, a nationalist, a conservative, etc. organization.
  • 388,000 people were denied a passport.
  • 30,000 people were dismissed from their firms because they were suspects.
  • 14,000 people had their citizenship revoked.
  • 30,000 people went abroad as political refugees.
  • 300 people died in a suspicious manner.
  • 171 people died by reason of torture.
  • 937 films were banned because they were found objectionable.
  • 23,677 associations had their activities stopped.
  • 3,854 teachers, 120 lecturers and 47 judges were dismissed.
  • 400 journalists were recommended a total of 4,000 years imprisonment.
  • Journalists were sentenced 3,315 years and 6 months imprisonment.
  • 31 journalists went to jail.
  • 300 journalists were attacked.
  • 3 journalists were shot dead.
  • 300 days in which newspapers were not published.
  • 303 cases were opened for 13 major newspapers.
  • 39 tonnes of newspapers and magazines were destroyed.
  • 299 people lost their lives in prison.
  • 144 people died in a suspicious manner in prison.
  • 14 people died in hunger strikes in prison.
  • 16 people were shot while fleeing.
  • 95 people were killed in combat.
  • "Natural death report" for 73 persons was given.
  • The cause of death of 43 people was announced as "suicide".

Source: The Grand National Assembly of Turkey (Turkish: Turkiye Buyuk Millet Meclisi - TBMM)[22]


After the approval by referendum of the new Constitution in June 1982, Kenan Evren organized general elections, held on 6 November 1983. This transition to democracy has been criticized by the Turkish scholar Ergun Özbudun as a "textbook case" of a junta's dictating the terms of its departure.[23]

The referendum and the elections did not take place in a free and competitive setting. Many political leaders of pre-coup era (including Süleyman Demirel, Bülent Ecevit, Alparslan Türkeş and Necmettin Erbakan) had been banned from politics, and all new parties needed to get the approval of the National Security Council in order to participate in the elections. Only three parties, two of which were actually created by the junta, were permitted to contest.

The secretary general of the National Security Council was general Haydar Saltık. Both he and Evren were the strong men of the regime, while the government was headed by a retired admiral, Bülend Ulusu, and included several retired military officers and a few civil servants. Some alleged in Turkey, after the coup, that General Saltuk had been preparing a more radical, rightist coup, which had been one of the reasons prompting the other generals to act, respecting the hierarchy, and then to include him in the MGK in order to neutralize him.[9]

Out of the 1983 elections came one-party governance under Turgut Özal's Motherland Party, which combined a neoliberal economic program with conservative social values.

Yildirim Akbulut became the head of the Parliament. He was succeeded in 1991 by Mesut Yılmaz. Meanwhile, Süleyman Demirel founded the center-right True Path Party in 1983, and returned to active politics after the 1987 Turkish referendum.

Yılmaz redoubled Turkey's economic profile, converting towns like Gaziantep from small provincial capitals into mid-sized economic boomtowns, and renewed its orientation toward Europe. But political instability followed as the host of banned politicians reentered politics, fracturing the vote, and the Motherland Party became increasingly corrupt. Ozal, who succeeded Evren as President of Turkey, died of a heart attack in 1993, and Süleyman Demirel was elected president.

The Özal government empowered the police force with intelligence capabilities to counter the National Intelligence Organization, which at the time was run by the military. The police force even engaged in external intelligence collection.[24]

Trial of coup leaders

After the 2010 referendum, an investigation was started regarding the coup, and in June 2011, the Specially Authorized Ankara Deputy Prosecutor's Office asked ex-prosecutor Sacit Kayasu to forward a copy of an indictment he had prepared for Kenan Evren to court. Kayasu had previously been fired for trying to indict Evren in 2003.[25]

In January 2012, a Turkish court accepted the indictments against General Kenan Evren and General Tahsin Şahinkaya, the only coup leaders still alive at the time, for their role in the coup. Prosecutors are seeking life sentences against the two retired generals.[26] According to the indictment, a total of 191 people died in custody during the aftermath of the coup, due to “inhumane” acts.[27] The trial began on 4 April 2012.[28] In 2012, a court case was launched against Şahinkaya and Kenan Evren relating to the 1980 military coup. Both were sentenced to life imprisonment on 18 June 2014 by a court in Ankara, the capital of Turkey. Şahinkaya died at age 90 in the military "Haydarpaşa GATA Hospital" in Istanbul on July 9, 2015. Evren died at a military hospital in Ankara on 9 May 2015, aged 97. His sentence was on appeal at the time of his death.

Allegations of the US involvement

The American involvement in this coup was alleged to have been acknowledged by the CIA Ankara station chief Paul Henze. In his book "12 Eylül: saat 04.00" Journalist Mehmet Ali Birand wrote that after the government was overthrown, Henze cabled Washington, saying, "our boys did it."[29] On June 2003 interview to Zaman Henze denied American involvement stating "I did not say Carter "Our boys did it." It is totally a tale, a myth, It is something Birand fabricated. He knows it, too. I talked to him about it.[30]" Two days later Birand replied on CNN Türk's Manşet by saying "It is impossible for me to have fabricated it, the American support to the coup and the atmosphere in Washington was in the same direction. Henze narrated me these words despite he now denies it"[31] and presented the footage of an interview with Henze recorded in 1997 according to which a diplomat rather than Henze informed the president, saying "Boys in Ankara did it."[32] Some Turkish media sources reported it as "Henze indeed said Our boys did it."[33]

The US State Department itself announced the coup during the night between 11 and 12 September: the military had phoned the US embassy in Ankara to alert them of the coup an hour in advance.[34] Both in his press conference held after the government was overthrown[35] and when interrogated by public prosecutor in 2011[36] General Kenan Evren said "the US did not have pre-knowledge of the coup but we informed them of the coup 2 hours in advance due to our soldiers coinciding with the American community JUSMAT that is in Ankara."

Tahsin Şahinkaya - then general in charge of the Turkish Air Forces who is said to have travelled to the United States just before the coup, told the US army general was not informed of the upcoming coup and the general was surprised to have been uninformed of the coup after the government was overthrown.[37]

In culture

The coup has been criticised in many Turkish movies, TV series and songs since 1980.


Television series


See also


  1. ^ Beki, Mehmet Akif (17 January 1997). "Whose gang is this?". Turkish Daily News. Hürriyet. Archived from the original on 21 July 2009. Retrieved 12 October 2008.
  2. ^ a b "Önce ortam hazırlandı, sonra darbe haberi". Haber7 (in Turkish). 12 September 2008. Retrieved 15 October 2008.
  3. ^ a b c Oğur, Yıldıray (17 September 2008). "12 Eylül'ün darbeci solcusu: Ali Haydar Saltık". Taraf (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 27 September 2008. Retrieved 23 December 2008.
  4. ^ Ganser 2005, p. 235: Colonel Talat Turhan accused the United States for having fuelled the brutality from which Turkey suffered in the 1970s by setting up the Special Warfare Department, the Counter-Guerrilla secret army and the MIT and training them according to FM 30–31
  5. ^ Naylor, Robert T (2004). Hot Money and the Politics of Debt (3E ed.). McGill-Queen's Press. p. 94. ISBN 978-0-7735-2743-0. Retrieved 10 June 2010. The fact that militias of all political tendencies seemed to be buying their arsenals from the same sources pointed to the possibility of a deliberate orchestration of the violence – of the sort P2 had attempted in Italy a few years earlier – to prepare the psychological climate for a military coup.
  6. ^ Ustel, Aziz (14 July 2008). "Savcı, Ergenekon'u Kenan Evren'e sormalı asıl!". Star Gazete (in Turkish). Retrieved 21 October 2008. Ve 13 Eylül 1980’de Türkiye’yi on yıla yakın bir süredir kasıp kavuran terör ve adam öldürmeler bıçakla kesilir gibi kesildi.
  7. ^ https://www.economist.com/news/europe/21571147-once-all-powerful-turkish-armed-forces-are-cowed-if-not-quite-impotent-erdogan-and-his Turkey and its army: Erdogan and his generals
  8. ^ a b c Amnesty International, Turkey: Human Rights Denied, London, November 1988, AI Index: EUR/44/65/88, ISBN 978-0-86210-156-5, pg. 1.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h Gil, Ata. "La Turquie à marche forcée," Le Monde diplomatique, February 1981.
  10. ^ a b Searchlight (magazine), No.47 (May 1979), pg. 6. Quoted by (Herman & Brodhead 1986, p. 50)
  11. ^ Devrimci Yol Savunması (Defense of the Revolutionary Path). Ankara, January 1989, p. 118-119.
  12. ^ Ünlü, Ferhat (17 July 2007). "Çalınan silahlar falcıya soruldu". Sabah (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 30 August 2008. Retrieved 18 December 2008.
  13. ^ a b c d Doğan, İbrahim (1 September 2008). "Evren, darbe için iki rapor hazırlatmış". Aksiyon (in Turkish). Feza Gazetecilik A.Ş. 717. Archived from the original on 12 September 2008. Retrieved 16 October 2008. Haydar Paşa, size vereceğim bu görevden sadece kuvvet komutanlarının haberi var. İç güvenliğimizin tehlikede olduğunu pek çok defa konuştuk. Silahlı Kuvvetlerin içine de sızmalar başladığını biliyorsunuz. Sizden bir çalışma grubu kurmanızı istiyorum. İki kurmayı görevlendirin. Araştırmanızı istediğim, yönetime müdahale için zamanı geldi mi? Ya da uyarıda mı bulunmak daha uygun olur? Bu hususlar etüt edilecek. Arada rapor verin. Hiçbir şey kayda geçmeyecek. Tek nüsha yazılsın. Elle… Bugün 11 Eylül, altı ay içinde tamamlayın. Bir de görevlendireceğimiz kişilere maske görev verin. Etrafın dikkatini çekmesin.
  14. ^ Ekinci, Burhan (12 September 2008). "12 Eylül sermayenin darbesiydi". Taraf. Archived from the original on 13 September 2008. Retrieved 13 September 2008.
  15. ^ Naylor, R. Thomas (2004). "6. Of Dope, Debt, and Dictatorship". Hot Money and the Politics of Debt. McGill-Queen's University Press. p. 92. ISBN 978-0-7735-2743-0.
  16. ^ "Turkey still awaits to confront with generals of the coup in 12 Sep 1980". Hurriyet English. 9 October 2008. Archived from the original on 14 September 2008. Retrieved 9 October 2008.
  17. ^ "12 Eylül'de 1 milyon 683 bin kişi fişlendi". Hürriyet (in Turkish). ANKA. 12 September 2008. Retrieved 9 October 2008.
  18. ^ Türker, Yıldırım (12 September 2005). "Çocuğu astılar". Radikal (in Turkish). sec. Yaşam. Archived from the original on 24 October 2005. Retrieved 23 December 2008. Cezaevinde yapılan (neler olduğunu ayrıntılı bir biçimde öğrenirsiniz sanırım) insanlık dışı zulüm altında inletildik. O kadar aşağılık, o kadar canice şeyler gördüm ki, bugünlerde yaşamak bir işkence haline geldi. İşte bu durumda ölüm korkulacak bir şey değil, şiddetle arzulanan bir olay, bir kurtuluş haline geldi. Böyle bir durumda insanın intihar ederek yaşamına son vermesi işten bile değildir. Ancak ben bu durumda irademi kullanarak ne pahasına olursa olsun yaşamımı sürdürdüm. Hem de ileride bir gün öldürüleceğimi bile bile.
  19. ^ (Herman & Brodhead 1986, p. 50)
  20. ^ Ergil, Dogu (2 May 1997). "Nationalism With and Without Turkes". Turkish Daily News. Hürriyet. Archived from the original on 18 April 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2008. The leaders of the 1980 military coup d'état knew that the paramilitary force of the NAP would dilute their authority because the party was an alternative organization directly attached to the personality of Turkes.
  21. ^ History of the Kurdish Uprising Archived 23 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine a paper of the International Council on Human Rights Policy Archived 18 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 31 October 2009.
  22. ^ The report was prepared between May 2, 2012 and November 28, 2012 by the Parliamentary Investigation Commission for the Coups and the Memorandums: “(Ordinal) 376, Volume 1, Page 15, Paragraph 4 (continues on page 16, the first 5 lines)[The report was released in Turkish. And ‘The Results’ section was translated to English by a Wikipedia user.]
  23. ^ Özbudun, Ergun. Contemporary Turkish Politics: Challenges to Democratic Consolidation, Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2000, pg. 117. "The 1983 Turkish transition is almost a textbook example of the degree to which a departing military regime can dictate the conditions of its departure (...)."
  24. ^ Sariibrahimoglu, Lale (7 December 2008). "Turkey needs an intelligence coordination mechanism, says Güven". Today's Zaman. Archived from the original on 8 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-10. Shortly after the 1980 military coup, the government, under the late Prime Minister Turgut Özal, introduced a law that strengthened the power of the police forces to counter the MİT, which was headed by a general at the time.
  25. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 June 2011. Retrieved 12 September 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  26. ^ BBC News Turkish ex-president Kenan Evren faces coup charge, 10 January 2012
  27. ^ Today's Zaman Fears of suicide prompt Evren family to remove coup leader's firearms Archived 20 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine, 19 January 2012
  28. ^ Why does Evren still think so? Archived 23 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine, 22 March 2012
  29. ^ Birand, Mehmet Ali. 12 eylül: saat 04.00. p. 1.
  30. ^ Başkan Carter’a ‘Bizim çocuklar bu işi başardı’ demedim. Bu tümüyle bir efsane, bir mit. Gazeteci Mehmet Ali Birand’ın uydurmuş olduğu bir şey. O da biliyor bunu. Bu konuda kendisiyle de konuştum zaten.” - Paul Henze: ‘Bizim çocuklar işi başardı’ sözünü Birand uydurdu - by Ibrahim Balta. Zaman 12.06.2003
  31. ^ "Mehmet Ali Birand, bu sözlere ‘‘Bu şekilde uydurmama imkan yok. 12 Eylül'e ABD'nin verdiği destek ve Washington'daki hava da aynı yöndeydi. Sonradan reddetmesine rağmen Henze bana bu sözleri söyledi’’ diye karşılık verdi." - Paul Henze ‘Bizim çocuklar yaptı’ demiş - Hürriyet, 14/06/2003.
  32. ^ "Kasete göre, Başkan Carter’a Ankara’daki darbeyi haber veren Henze değil, başka bir diplomat. Ancak olayı Birand’a anlatan Henze, “Ankara’daki çocuklar başardı.” şeklindeki mesajın Carter’a iletildiğini anlatıyor." - "Birand’dan Paul Henze’ye ‘sesli–görüntülü’ yalanlama" Zaman gazetesi 14.06.2003 İbrahim Balta
  33. ^ Paul Henze ‘Bizim çocuklar yaptı’ demiş - Hürriyet 14/06/2013
  34. ^ Gil, Ata. "La Turquie à marche forcée". Le Monde diplomatique. February 1981.
  35. ^ Evren, Kenan (1990). Kenan Evrenin anıları 2 (Memoirs of Kenan Evren 2). Milliyet yayınları. p. 46.
  36. ^ "'ABD'ye söyleyin, yönetime el koyuyoruz'". Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  37. ^ ""Bizim çocuklar" haber vermiş". Retrieved 20 May 2018.


  • Ganser, Daniele (2005). NATO's Secret Armies. Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. London: Frank Cass. ISBN 0-7146-5607-0.
  • Herman, Edward S; Brodhead, Frank (1986). The Rise and Fall of the Bulgarian Connection. New York: Sheridan Square Publications. ISBN 978-0-940380-06-6.
45th government of Turkey

The 45th government of Turkey (13 December 1983 – 21 December 1987) was the first civilian government founded after the 1980 Turkish coup d'état. It is also known as the first Özal government.

Advisory Parliament of Turkey

The Advisory Parliament existed from 15 October 1981 to 6 December 1983 . It was established by the military rule of 1980 Turkish coup d'état. 120 MPs were representatives of the provinces and 40 MPs were appointed by the military rule.

Ali Haydar Saltık

Ali Haydar Saltık (1923, Istanbul - 8 April 2011) was a Turkish general. He was Commander of the First Army of Turkey (1981 - 1983) and then Commander of the Turkish Army (1983 - 1985). He was Secretary-General of the Presidential Council.

In September 1979 General Kenan Evren ordered a hand-written report from Saltık on whether or not a coup was in order, or if the government merely needed a stern warning. The report, which recommended preparing for a coup, was delivered in six months. Evren kept the report in his office safe, and launched the 1980 Turkish coup d'état.

Alper Görmüş

Ahmet Alper Görmüş (born 21 November 1952) is a Turkish journalist and writer, currently a columnist for Taraf (since 2007) and Yeni Aktüel. He was the editor-in-chief of the news weekly Nokta (2006-7).

He was previously a contributor to Aydınlık (1977 - 1980), working outside journalism in a variety of roles after it was closed down following the 1980 Turkish coup d'état. He resumed journalism at Nokta (1986 - 1990), and was then editor-in-chief of Yeni Aktüel (1991 - 1995). He received the Hrant Dink International Award in 2009, with Amira Hass.

Great Unity Party

The Great Unity Party (Turkish: Büyük Birlik Partisi, BBP) or Great Union Party is a far-right Islamist and nationalist political party in Turkey, created on 29 January 1993. It is considered to be close to the Grey Wolves organization, and is related to the "Alperen Ocakları" tendency, which operated a synthesis between cultural nationalism and Islamism, and separated itself from the Nationalist Task Party (MÇP), which was renamed to Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in July 1992.Although it is claimed that the founder of the party Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu left the MHP for lack of religious convictions, this should be seen rather as a speculation as Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu rarely blamed the MHP or talked about the separation. The rift between Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu and Alparslan Türkeş actually had started after 1980 Turkish coup d'état. Alparslan Türkeş defended himself in the infamous speech in which he declared "My opinions and beliefs are of the same as the generals who organized the 1980 Turkish coup d'état, yet I am in prison" speech during trials after the coup. The ideological separation started then and reached the surface after Alparslan Türkeş dismissed the Ankara headquarters of the MHP after the 1992 MHP Congress. The delegates had elected the candidate that Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu supported rather than the one Alparslan Türkeş had supported. Türkeş's dismissal, seen to show an anti-democratic approach, was the final blow to the relationship between the young clique who had suffered during the 1980 coup and were against anything anti-democratic, and the old clique which circled around Alparslan Türkeş and believed in a nationalist-socialistic way of democracy.

The party has been represented in the Parliament only via electoral coalitions with popular parties. At the 2002 legislative elections, the party won 1.1% of the popular vote and no seats; in the 2007 elections Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu was elected as an independent. In 2009 local elections the BBP's candidate was elected as the new mayor of Sivas.

Hunting Time

Hunting Time (Turkish: Av Zamanı) is a 1988 Turkish drama film directed by Erden Kıral about the 1980 Turkish coup d'état. It was entered into the 38th Berlin International Film Festival.

Murat Karayılan

Murat Karayılan (Kurdish: Mirad Qarayîlan‎) (born 1954), also nicknamed Cemal, is one of the co-founders of the Kurdistan Workers' Party. He has been the organization PKK's acting leader since its original founder and leader, Abdullah Öcalan, was captured in 1999 by Turkish intelligence agents. On 2014, he left the PKK leader position and was assigned as the new commander-in-chief of the PKK's armed wing, the People's Defence Forces.Born in Birecik, Şanlıurfa, Karayılan finished his studies at a vocational college of machinery and joined the organization PKK in 1979. He was active in his native province of Şanlıurfa until he fled to Syria at the time of the 1980 Turkish coup d'état. He has called on Kurds to stop serving in the military of Turkey, stop paying taxes and stop using the Turkish language.On 13 December 2016, the Chief Prosecutor of Mardin issued a detention warrant for Karayılan and Duran Kalkan, another PKK commander, as part of an investigation into the killing of Derik District Governor Muhammet Fatih Safitürk.In March 2017, there were reports of a failed assassination attempt against Karayılan, but it was unclear as to whether the attempt was made by Turkish forces or a group within the PKK.Murat Karayilan with two other PKK leaders are wanted by the United States Department of the Treasury and the Government of Turkey for recruiting child soldiers, involving in drug trafficking, targeting Turkish government officials, police and security forces, and indiscriminately injuring and killing civilians.In 2018, the Turkish sources reported that one of his female guards committed suicide with a hand grenade after being raped by him.

Mustafa Karasu

Mustafa Karasu also known as Huseyin Ali is a Deputy Chairman of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a Kurdish rebel group fighting an armed insurgency against the government of Turkey for an independent Kurdistan. The group is recognised as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and EU. Along with Cemil Bayık and Duran Kalkan he is viewed as one of the hardliners among the PKK's leadership and is alleged to have links to Iran. He is the leader of the Alevi Shi'a groups within the PKK. His name was on the list of 248 PKK members of which Turkey wished extradication from Iraq on July 10, 2010.He was imprisoned for several years after the 1980 Turkish coup d'état, after his release he became a member of the PKK's politburo (leadership council) and led the group's popular front: the ERNK. After working in the PKK's political wing for 3 years, in Europe he was called back to South-Eastern Turkey by Abdullah Ocalan to gain more battle experience. He is currently the member of the Executive Council (de facto government) of the Koma Civakên Kurdistan (KCK), which is the PKK's umbrella organisation.

My Father and My Son

My Father and My Son (Turkish: Babam ve Oğlum) is a 2005 Turkish drama film written and directed by Çağan Irmak about a family torn apart by the 1980 Turkish coup d'état. The film which went on nationwide release on 18 November 2005 (2005-11-18) became one of the highest-grossing Turkish films in history.

National Women's Party of Turkey

National Women's Party of Turkey (Turkish: Türkiye Ulusal Kadınlar Partisi, TUKP for short) was a former Turkish political party.

It was founded on 17 November 1972 by Mübeccel Göktuna Törüner in İstanbul. In the 1970s women's participation in Turkish politics was very low. For example, in the 1969 elections only 5 women MPs were elected to the 450-seat lower house of the parliament. Thus the goal of the party was to increase women's participation in politics.

However the party faced with legal barriers. In order to enter the elections, the party had to form branch offices in at least 15 provinces which the party failed to achieve. Before they were able to fulfill the legal requirements to enter the election however, the activities of all Turkish parties were suspended as a result of the 1980 Turkish coup d'état. On 16 September 1981 the party (like all other parties) was closed by the military rule. Unlike main parties, the National Women's party was not revived after Turkey returned to civilian democracy in 1983. In June 2014, however, women's rights activists (led by Benal Yazgan) submitted a petition to the Interior Ministry for a new Woman Party (Kadın Partisi) to be formally registered as a political party.

Oral Çalışlar

Oral Çalışlar (born 14 December 1946) is a Turkish journalist and writer, currently columnist for Radikal and Serbestiyet, after briefly working as editor-in-chief of Taraf. He was previously a columnist for Cumhuriyet (1992 - 2008) and Radikal (2008 - 2013). In the 1960s he participated in the student movement and contributed to Aydınlık, and was imprisoned for 3 years after the 1971 Turkish coup d'état. He became editor of Aydınlık in 1978 and was imprisoned again after the 1980 Turkish coup d'état, eventually being released in 1988. He is the author of around 20 books.

Political violence in Turkey (1976–80)

Political violence in Turkey became a challenging problem in late 1970s. The violence was even described as a "low-level war". The death squads of Turkish right-wing ultra-nationalist groups against left-wing opposition inflicted some 5,000 casualties. The wave of violence dimmed after the 1980 Turkish coup d'état.

Rıdvan Akar

Rıdvan Akar (born 1961) is a Turkish journalist and author. He has contributed to Söz, Ekonomik Panorama, Tempo, Milliyet. He has been editor-in-chief of the news programme 32. Gün (CNN Turk / Kanal D). Together with Hikmet Bila and Mehmet Ali Birand, he has authored five editions of a book on the 1980 Turkish coup d'état. He is known for his work on history, politics and minorities in Turkey; he has also published a novel, Bir Irkçının İhaneti (Betrayal of a Racist, 2002).He was educated at Gazi University and Istanbul University.

September 12 (film)

September 12 (Turkish: 12 Eylül) is a 2010 German-Turkish documentary film, written, produced and directed by Özlem Sulak, which documents the accounts of survivors of the 1980 Turkish coup d'état. The film was selected for the 16th Festival on Wheels and the 63rd Locarno International Film Festival, where it premiered.

She is Such a Woman

Öyle Bir Kadın Ki (She is Such a Woman) (1979) is the first Turkish film which included a hardcore scene to be legally produced and distributed.

The plot claims to deal with the sexual ambivalence of married couples on vacation, accompanied by a crime story. The movie started a short-lived, but intense period of pornography in Turkey until the 1980 Turkish coup d'état. Today, it is difficult to find the original, uncut version. Directed by Naki Yurter (Yani Veligradino), the lead role played by Zerrin Doğan.

Turkish Writers' Union

Türkiye Yazarlar Sendikası (TYS - Turkish Writers' Union) is a trade union for writers in Turkey. It is sometimes confused with the Turkish Authors' Association Türkiye Yazarlar Birliği, TYB, as both may be translated as Writers Union of Turkey. It was founded on 4 February 1974.In 1982/3 the TYS President Aziz Nesin and all executive board members were charged with maintaining an illegal society, as all trade unions had been banned following the 1980 Turkish coup d'état.It publishes a monthly journal TYS Edebiyat and a monthly bulletin TYS Aylik Bülten.


Yol (pronounced [joɫ]; translated as The Way, The Road or The Path) is a 1982 Turkish film directed by Şerif Gören. The screenplay was written by Yılmaz Güney, and it was directed by his assistant Şerif Gören, as Güney was in prison at the time. Later, when Güney escaped from prison, he took the negatives of the film to Switzerland and later edited it in Paris.The film is a portrait of Turkey in the aftermath of the 1980 Turkish coup d'état: its people and its authorities are shown via the stories of five prisoners given a week's home leave. The film has caused much controversy in Turkey, and was banned until 1999. However, it won numerous honours, including the Palme d'Or at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival.

İsmail Hakki Akansel

İsmail Hakki Akansel (1924 – May 15, 2016) was a Turkish military general and politician. In 1980, Akansel was appointed Mayor of Istanbul following the 1980 Turkish coup d'état and the establishment of military rule in Turkey. He served as the Mayor of Istanbul from September 1980 to August 1981.He retired from the military in 1985.İsmail Hakki Akansel died in Izmir, Turkey, on May 15, 2016, at the age of 92. He was buried in Istanbul.

Şükrü Balcı

Şükrü Balcı (1929, Divriği - 6 May 1993, USA) was a Turkish high-ranking civil servant and police chief. He was the Istanbul Chief of Police from 1979 to 1983 (a period including the 1980 Turkish coup d'état), and previously deputy chief from 1977. He is believed to have had links with the Turkish mafia.

In the late 1970s Balcı was arrested for suspected arms smuggling; but this did not appear to harm his career. According to Turkish-Kurdish drug lord Hüseyin Baybaşin, Balcı was at the time the most important state official involved in controlling the transshipment of heroin through Turkey. Balcı was mentioned in Mehmet Eymür's 1987 MIT Report on links between police, politicians and the mafia, and reports into the state-mafia connections revealed by the 1996 Susurluk scandal also mentioned Balcı. In 2013 it was decided to rename the Turkish Police Academy, which had been named for him in 1995.

Military coups in Turkey
Ottoman Empire
Republic of Turkey
Coup attempts
Other incidents and trials
Frozen conflicts
Foreign policy
See also

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