President Recep Tayyip Erdogan inaugurates Democracy and Liberties Island, in Sea of Marmara, southeast of Istanbul, on 60th anniversary of first coup in country that led to execution of then PM Adnan Menderes and his aides.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attends the ribbon cutting ceremony during the inauguration of Democracy and Liberties Island in Istanbul, Turkey on May 27, 2020.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attends the ribbon cutting ceremony during the inauguration of Democracy and Liberties Island in Istanbul, Turkey on May 27, 2020. (AA)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday marked the 60th anniversary of the country’s first-ever military coup with the inauguration of the Democracy and Liberties Island, formerly Yassiada.

President Erdogan said 60 years ago, Turkey experienced one of the "darkest days of its history" with the May 27 coup.

Erdogan stressed that not only were Prime Minister Adnan Menderes and his aides executed in Yassiada, "but also the Turkish history, culture, values and beliefs."

Speaking about the trials on the island, Erdogan said it was not a trial but a "murder of law."

Parliament Speaker Mustafa Sentop, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli, Vice President Fuat Oktay, Constitutional Court President Zuhtu Arslan, Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin, other bureaucrats, politicians, commanders-in-chief of armed forces, representatives of non-governmental organisations and bar associations also attended the inauguration ceremony.

Illegal trial on island

Yassiada, one of the Princes' Islands located in the Sea of Marmara, southeast of Istanbul, is notorious for jails and trials from the 1960 military coup.

It was renamed Democracy and Liberties Island in 2013.

The island is where Turkey's first democratically elected Prime Minister Menderes, along with leading Democratic Party members, were arrested after the May 27, 1960 coup and later jailed and tried.

After a biased and illegal trial on the island, then president Celal Bayar, premier Menderes, foreign minister Fatin Rustu Zorlu and finance minister Hasan Polatkan were sentenced to death.

Bayar later received clemency from the sentence.

Source: AA