Turkey’s Prime Minister Adnan Menderes, who was executed 55 years ago on this day, will always be remembered with gratitude for his services to our nation and country, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday.
Erdogan made the remarks in a message to mark the death anniversary of Menderes, who was hanged by a military junta on Sept. 17, 1961.
“Outstanding statesman Adnan Menderes, who plays an important role in the development, improvement and democratization of our country left indelible marks in our political life and in our nations’ heart,” the president said in the message.
Erdogan wished God’s mercy on the executed leader.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim also issued a message to commemorate the death anniversary.
“The deceased Menderes sacrificed his life to serve the nation and became a hero in our people’s heart,” Yildirim said.
He added our nation would never forgive those who approved Menderes’ execution.
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu attended a ceremony in Istanbul to mark the 55th death anniversaries of Menderes, then Foreign Minister Fatin Rustu Zorlu and Finance Minister Hasan Polatkan.
Menderes was Turkey’s ninth prime minister, who was executed following a bloody coup in 1960, which came to symbolize a dark period in Turkish history.
Menderes was arrested along with all leading Democratic Party (DP) members following the May 27, 1960, military coup. They were accused of violating the constitution as well as embezzling money from state funds and were put on trial by a military court on the island of Yassiada, which is seen as the symbol of the sorrows of Turkish democracy, located in the Sea of Marmara to the southeast of Istanbul.
Following the court’s verdict, Menderes was hanged along with Zorlu and Polatkan on the island of Imrali in the Sea of Marmara after a year-long trial.
Menderes had won over 50 percent of the vote in the 1957 general elections before he was jailed and made to stand on trial by a military regime that had overthrown his government.
The 1960 coup paved the way for the military to overthrow governments in 1971, 1980 and 1997.
In 1990, the Turkish government said it regretted the execution of Menderes and his grave in Istanbul was turned into a mausoleum.
Being the last Turkish political leader to be executed after a military coup, Adnan Menderes’ name today can be found on several public places as a mark of respect.