History of the Republic of Turkiye

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1980 Sep 12

1980 Turkish coup d'état


During the Cold War era, Turkey saw political violence (1976–1980) between far-left, far-right (Grey Wolves), Islamist militant groups, and the state. The violence saw a sharp downturn for a period after the coup, which was welcomed by some for restoring order by quickly executing 50 people and arresting 500,000 of which hundreds would die in prison. The 1980 Turkish coup d'état, headed by Chief of the General Staff General Kenan Evren, was the third coup d'état in the history of the Republic of Turkey.

For the next three years the Turkish Armed Forces ruled the country through the National Security Council, before democracy was restored with the 1983 Turkish general election. This period saw an intensification of the Turkish nationalism of the state, including banning the Kurdish language. Turkey partially returned to democracy in 1983 and fully in 1989.