Revolt of 1960
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
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.
the Year 1960
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