Turkey: Horrors of the 1980 military coup remembered on its 42nd anniversary
Representative of political parties in Turkey released statements on Monday on the occasion of the anniversary of the 12 September 1980 military coup.
Omer Celik, the spokesperson of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) said on Twitter:
"Our nation has responded to all coups and antidemocratic interventions that targeted its political sovereignty by supporting democracy. From 12 September to 15 July, all betrayal schemes have been overcome by the will of the nation. The resistance in 15 July has been the ultimate response to all coups.
Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) said:
“We are against all military or civilian coups and the coup regimes that target the democratic structure and legal order. Both the September 12 mentality and the July 15 mentality and all the regimes that hijacked the will of the people should be held accountable before history. We will never give up on democracy!”
The Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) said:
“On the 42nd anniversary of the September 12 coup, the same coup d'etat mentality still exists in every sphere of life. No government or coup that tried to take over control of the society through violence and force has ever been successful. We will continue our struggle against coups and coup mentalities.”
The Ankara Bar Association condemned all coups and coup attempts carried out against pluralist democracy, secularist principles, independence of the judiciary, and separation of powers.
The Diyarbakir Bar Association said on Twitter that after the 12 September coup the military administration committed one of the biggest crimes against the people and democracy.
"Although 42 years have passed, the state authorities still has not taken the necessary steps to fully confront this shameful legacy," it said.
The Human Rights Association (IHD) read out a statement in front of the offices of the Istanbul Radio, where the coup was first announced at 3 AM on September 1980.
It was emphasized in the statement that the "coup constitution" is still in effect, and the mentality of the military junta is still in power.
The Saturday Mothers, who have been demanding justice for the victims of forced disappearances since the mid 1990s, said on Twitter:
"On the 42nd anniversary of the military coup, we did not forget our people who were disappeared in the torture chambers of 12 September! We will not forgive those who made them disappear, those who protect the perpetrators through their policy of impunity, and those who keep the 12 September mentality alive!"
About the 12 September Coup
The Turkish Grand Assembly and the constitution were immediately suspended by the military administration on 12 September 1980, as all parties and trade unions were disbanded, all worker strikes declared illegal. All mayors of provinces and districts and all local council members were replaced with military personnel.
650,000 people were arrested in the following weeks and months, while 230,000 people faced trial in military courts. Judges issued death sentences for over 500 people, 50 of whom were executed by hanging.
300 people died in suspicious circumstances, and 171 people were documented as having been “tortured to death”.
Over 1.6 million people were blacklisted, as 14,000 were stripped of their citizenship, and 30,000 became political refugees, most of them in Europe.
One of the most important legacies of the 12 September coup, the 1982 Constitution that is currently in effect and which was a direct product of the military administration, was approved in a referendum by an overwhelming majority of 91.4%. The turnout was 91.3%.