Turkey

Turkish president remembers 1980 military coup victims

Sept. 12 military coup detained 650,000 people, executed 50, claimed 299 more lives due to torture, prison conditions

Erdogan Cagatay Zontur   | 12.09.2019
Turkish president remembers 1980 military coup victims

ANKARA

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned Thursday the bloody 1980 military coup which detained thousands of people, executed tens, and claimed some 300 lives due to torture and prison conditions.

“Although 39 years have passed, Sept. 12, which we still remember with shame, will remain a black stain in our history of democracy,” Erdogan said on Twitter.

“I remember all our citizens who were tortured and executed unjustly in those dark days with the respect and mercy,” he added.

Some 650,000 people were detained and 50 others executed during the 1980 coup period. A further 299 died due to torture and unhealthy prison conditions.

“As representatives of a political culture that has always stood against the coups, we will continue to support the national will and democracy,” Erdogan said.

The last military coup carried out through the chain of command in the history of the Republic of Turkey is infamous for its executions, assaults, and human rights violations.

In the early hours of Sept. 12, the coup plotters seized power in the country, in the third blatant intervention by the armed forces in Turkey’s history, following the May 27, 1960 coup and March 12, 1971 memorandum.

The National Security Council, consisting of then-Chief of General Staff Kenan Evren -- who led the coup, and later was president -- the commanders of the Turkish land, air and naval forces, and the commander of the gendarmerie forces, took control of all the levers of power.

Flouting democracy, the putschists annulled the country’s Constitution and dissolved the parliament.

After declaring martial law, they targeted non-governmental organizations and halted the activities of many, aside from the Turkish Aviation Association, Children's Protection Society, and Turkish Red Crescent.

Also closing the country’s political parties, the plotters carried out a series of executions that still haunt the nation’s conscience.

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