Istanbul, 25 May 2021 (Anadolu News)
A historic island near Istanbul on Thursday will host a ceremony remembering a “black stain” in Turkish history, the 61st anniversary of the 1960 military coup.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit the island of Yassiada – now Democracy and Freedom Island – on Thursday to attend the ceremony, before meeting with provincial heads of Turkey’s Justice and Development (AK) Party.
The island in the Sea of Marmara is notorious for jails and trials in the wake of the 1960 military coup. In 2013, with a renewed focus on learning lessons from that era’s dark history, it was renamed Democracy and Freedom Island.
The island is where Adnan Menderes, Turkey’s first democratically elected prime minister, along with leading Democratic Party (DP) members were arrested after the May 27, 1960 coup and later jailed and tried.
After a biased and illegal trial on the island, Menderes, President Celal Bayar, Foreign Minister Fatin Rustu Zorlu, and Finance Minister Hasan Polatkan were sentenced to death. Bayar later received clemency from the sentence.
In May 2020, Erdogan inaugurated Democracy and Freedom Island to mark the 60th anniversary of the military coup.
The island, leaving its dark history behind, has been converted into a congress center and open-air museum and is available for daily visits.