Erdogan: Effects of 1960 military coup still felt today

Erdogan: Effects of 1960 military coup still felt today

56 years later, the effects of the guardianship system 'unfortunately continue today,' says Turkish president

KIRSEHIR, Turkey (AA) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday that 56 years later, the repercussions of the 1960 government coup are still being felt.

Speaking at a university in the central Anatolia province of Kirsehir, Erdogan said: "The effects of the guardianship system established by the May 27 [1960] coup unfortunately continue today."

Erdogan accused the main opposition People’s Republican Party (CHP) of pursuing more power in the interests of Turkey’s power elites – similar to what he referred as the guardianship system.

"The [CHP] not suggesting any projects for the new constitution and attempting to threaten the [Turkish] people by talking about 'blood' is the most concrete evidence," Erdogan said.

On May 27, 1960, a group of Turkish military officers organized a coup, taking charge of key military and civilian installations. The chain of command was ignored as both the Turkish army chief and civilian leaders were arrested.

While 56 years have passed since the first but not only coup in Turkish history, Erdogan said "the coup habit" still persists in the main opposition CHP.

"Regardless of how the [CHP] will not change, our people and our country have gone through a massive change. [The CHP] are not aware of this. Turkey is no longer the way it was in the 1960s," Erdogan said.

"Our people have shown repeatedly over the last 13-14 years [since the Justice and Development, AK, Party came to power] that they will not stay quiet and unresponsive to the seizure of their will by a handful of minorities," he added.

The 1960 coup symbolizes a dark period in Turkey’s history, as then-Prime Minister Adnan Menderes had won over 50 percent of the vote in the 1957 general elections before he was overthrown.

Menderes and two of his close allies were later hanged on the island of Imrali in the Sea of Marmara following a yearlong trial.

Erdogan vowed the Turkish people would never experience the same pain as the 1960 coup ever again.

"This nation has the power, strength, and self-confidence to decide on its own management system and hopefully its own constitution," Erdogan said.

"Our democracy has reached the maturity to carry out any kind of discussion, including [one concerning] the presidential system," he added. "I have no doubt. In this regard, I believe the coming period will be a turning point for our nation and our people."

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