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Turkish Revolt of 1960

An attempt by the Democratic Party government to restrict political activity and to do away with some civil rights led to a successful military coup on May 27, 1960.

On April 18, 1960, the parliamentary group of the Democratic Party appointed a 15-member commission inquiry to investigae the behavior of the opposition parties and certain newspapers. The commission had the authority to suspend political activity and the publication of newspapers, to make arrests without regard to legal guarantees, and to inflict prison terms up to five years.

The ruling party's actions spurred student demonstrations, some of which were put down with police brutality. A street demonstration of cadets of the Ankara Military Academy on May 21, in which many officers took part, showed that the revolt was becoming stronger. Celâl Bayar, President of the Republic, and Prime Minister Adnan Menderes attempted to create an armed police force to defend their dictatorship, but were unsuccessful. A last minute attempt on May 26 by 90 deputies to force Menderes to resign and to abolish the commission of inquiry failed.

On the night of May 26-27, the National Unity Committee, which included 32 army officers, seized control of the government. Beginning at about 4 a.m. on the 27th, the coup leaders broadcast reassurances to the general public that their only interest was to restore normal civil government. General Cemal Gürsel assumed the functions of provisional head of state and the government.

General Cemal Gürsel, leader of the 1960 Revolt, posing next to a bust of Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic, shorly after his successful coup against the government of Adnan Menderes.

In the Year 1960
Kemal Ataturk

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The Robinson Library >> General and Old World History >> Balkan Peninsula >> Turkey >> 20th Century

This page was last updated on October 23, 2017.