A short history of Turkish coups

James Nickerson
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Those loyal to Erdogan say they have put down the coup attempt (Source: Getty)

Last night a coup attempt unfolded in Turkey, with the picture still largely unclear this morning.

However, the scenes of chaos seen last night are the latest in a long line in a relatively short history.


The first coup d'etat in the Republic of Turkey, organised by a group of young Turkish military officers.

It took place against the democratically elected Democrat Party on 27 May.


Known as the Turkish military memorandum, it was the second military intervention of the Republic of Turkey.

Amid domestic strife the military send out a memorandum instead of tanks, as it had done in 1960.


After a period pervaded by right-wing versus left-wing conflicts, which the military allegedly allowed to escalate, the coup was welcomed for restoring order.

According to the Economist, 50 people were executed and 500,000 arrested in the aftermath.


The "post-modern coup" led to the resignation of Islamist Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan.

The government was forced out without suspending the constitution.

In the aftermath, one Recep Tayyip Erdogan was given a prison sentence after reading a nationalist and Islamist poem at a public event and banned from politics for five years. He served for "inciting hatred based on religious differences".

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