Coalition of the Unwilling

Inonu and Gumuspala

CHP leader İnönü and AP leader Gümüşpala


On May 27, 1960, the Turkish military decisively entered national politics, easily removing the ruling Democrat Party from power. Leaders of the coup explained they had acted to “extricate” the political class from its divisive conflicts; extricating themselves proved far more difficult. Transitioning back to a state of affairs even resembling civilian-led government necessitated something utterly new in Turkish politics: a coalition between opposing parties.



For the previous thirty-seven years, the power of the army had remained obscured by civilian formalities. The founders of the republic had, of course, been soldiers themselves, but they had believed in civilian control of government. As young officers in the 1900s and 1910s, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and İsmet İnönü had sided with Turkish political factions that advocated a formal separation of political and military leadership.[1] Prior to assuming his role as Speaker of the Assembly in 1920, Mustafa Kemal had resigned from the army. In order for İnönü to remain both a commander and a politician immediately following the war years, parliamentary rules were bent.[2] The use of the honorific “Paşa” throughout their lives, however, was a constant reminder of the military accomplishments underpinning their authority.


The army remained the pivotal factor in polictal transitions throughtout the early Republic. In the political maneuvering leading up to and immediately following Atatürk’s death in 1938, efforts to sideline İnönü in favor of some other leader failed when the head of the army, Fevzi Çakmak, made his support for “İsmet Paşa” clear.[3] When İnönü’s party was defeated in 1950, high-ranking army officers met with him to offer their support should he chose to ignore the electoral results.[4] Though the leaders of the victorious Democrat Party sidelined and retired military officers they felt to have divided loyalties, they never fully succeeded in controlling the military. At best, Democrat Party leaders managed to maintain the loyalty of the military’s upper echelons; the coup, however, came from the ranks of junior officers.


In the aftermath of the 1960 coup, military leaders moved to assert authority over their young subordinates. The parliament was dissolved, members of the (now former) governing party were arrested, and a National Unity Council (MBK) was established to direct the state in the days and months to come. The MBK brought together leaders of various coup plots and representatives from different branches of the armed forces. In the early months of the coup it directed governmental affairs: lawyers from the major universities were called on to justify the military’s intervention and to draw up a road map for further action; a provisional assembly was called together (composed largely of representatives allied with İnönü’s Republican People’s Party) to write a new constitution; and members of the deposed Democrat Party were put on trial for a variety of crimes—the most serious being an attempt to overthrow the constitutional order.


On July 9, 1961, Turkish voters went to the polls in a referendum on the new constitution.[5] It passed, but with only 60.4% of the vote. Following the referendum, the provisional assembly set October 15 as date for parliamentary elections. On September 15, with a month to go before the elections, hundreds of sentences were handed down in the trials of the former ruling party. These sentences included fifteen death sentences—of which the MBK approved three: the former prime minister, foreign minister, and economy minister. The former president’s death sentence was commuted on account of his advanced age. The three executions were quickly carried out on September 16 and 17.[6]


When the parliamentary vote was held a month later, parties with ties to the (now banned) Democrat Party won 48.4%—62.3% if one includes the Republican Peasants’ Nation Party, which had broken with the Democrat Party years before the coup. İnönü’s Republican People’s Party won only 36.7%; in the lower house, it eked out a plurality of seats; in the senate, it lost even that advantage to the Democrat Party’s successor party, the Justice Party.



Turkey’s 1960 coup was merely the latest in a series of military coups that had occurred (and would continue to occur) in states formed on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire. Between the beginning of the Cold War (1945) and Iranian Revolution (1979), radical coups occurred in Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Syria, and Iraq. The coup in Turkey seemed set to follow a pattern in which junior officers with roots to rural areas seized power, initially deferring to a more senior figure, but soon removing that figure from office. The difference in the Turkish case, however, was that the final step never occurred. Rather than being outmaneuvered and removed by their young subordinates, Turkish generals were the ones who did the removing.


In advance of the coup, junior officers had secured the support of Cemal Gürsel, the recently retired head of the armed forces.[7] Following the coup, Gürsel became chairman of the National Unity Committee (MBK) and junior officers worked to consolidated their own power. The most prominent of these young officers, Colonel Alparslan Türkeş, sought to establish something called the “Turkish Union of Ideals and Culture” overseeing media, religion and education—essentially a power base for himself.[8]


During the first six months following the coup, senior officers supported junior officers’ initiatives: thousands of officers deemed less than committed to the revolution were retired (including 235 generals and admirals); hundreds of politicians and bureaucrats were arrested and prosecuted; over a hundred professors were removed; and several dozen powerful landlords were exiled to different parts of the country. Yet, by November, the splits between moderate and radical factions within the MBK had become unbridgeable. Gürsel and his allies sought to return the government to civilian control quickly while Türkeş and others felt military control might be necessary to implement real, meaningful reforms in Turkish society.

Turkes and Gursel

Colonel Türkeş and General Gürsel

In late October 1960, Gürsel appointed a Constituent Assembly to draw up a new constitution. Within two weeks, he had moved against the radical junior officers on the thirty-eight member MBK: fourteen were exiled, sent off to distant embassies as military advisors.[9] Though many officers remained unconvinced that the political parties were capable of overseeing needed reforms, the purge of Türkeş and his peers was a clear statement that Gürsel would not support an extended period of military government.[10]


October was also the month when trials of the former ruling party began. Though Gürsel had downplayed the need for prosecutions at the time of the coup, the lawyers advising the MBK had soon convinced its members of the need to send a message: if the Democrat Party had done nothing wrong, how was a coup justified? And, if it had done wrong, how could that go unpunished? The result was a “fiasco”: nineteen separate trials with nearly six-hundred defendants. In order to avoid the spectacle of mass executions should they all be found guilty of crimes “against the constitution” (a capital offense), the MBK amended the criminal code to exempt “secondary accomplices” from such sentences.[11] The executions and convictions that were handed down following the referendum vote (and on the eve of parliamentary elections) thoroughly poisoned political relations in Turkey.




The electoral results ran profoundly counter to the preferences of Gürsel and the military leadership. On the eve of the coup, Turkey had been divided between three parties: the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) led by İnönü; the ruling Democrat Party (DP), founded in 1945 by CHP members opposed to İnönü; and the Republican Peasant’s Nation Party (CKMP), founded by a breakaway faction of the DP. Another group of disgruntled DP members had formed a fourth party, the Freedom Party, in the mid-1950s, but it had merged with the CHP in 1958. Following the coup, the DP was closed but the CHP and CKMP were allowed to continue.


In the place of the Democrat Party, two new parties formed: the first to coalesce following the coup was the New Turkey Party (YTP) founded by politicians associated with the Freedom Party, which had opposed the authoritarian tendencies of the Democrat Party leadership. The YTP’s separation from the unpopular CHP and its anti-Democrat Party credentials led Gürsel to prefer the party and work behind the scenes to strengthen it, encouraging important politicians to join it.[12] Not that the YTP required his prodding to find supporters: many “elite” Democrat Party sympathizers (lawyers, economists, and other bureaucrats) joined the party. Yet the problem with the YTP (and the Freedom Party that proceeded it) was its lack of mass appeal. In the 1961 election it received less than 2% in the western coastal regions and owed its strongest support to its alliances with powerful southeastern elites.[13]


In contrast to the YTP, the Justice Party (AP), the other successor party to the DP, won near majorities in western provinces. The party had been established in February 1961, several months after the YTP. Its founder, Ragıp Gümüşpala had served briefly as commander of the armed forces following the coup, but he had been sent into retirement along with 235 other high-ranking officers a little over two months later. While many of the retired officers protested being put out to pasture and lobbied the MBK and parties to reinstate them, Gümüşpala threw himself into party politics. There are suggestions that he did so at Gürsel’s behest, thereby allowing the military to remain involved in politics—in any event, his presence at the head of the AP gave the party leaders, most of whom had close ties to the dissolved Democrat Party, cover in their dealings with the military.


No party emerged from the parliamentary elections with a majority.[14] The CHP had the most seats in the lower house of parliament (173), followed by the AP (158), CKMP (65), and YTP (54). And, given the priorities of each party, these numbers augured a political deadlock.


Throughout the post-Ottoman lands, military coups sidelined landed elites, increased state control of the economy, and expanded a middle-class tied to the bureaucracy.[15] In countries like Egypt and Iraq, young officers by-passed old elites and spoke to the masses. In Turkey, however, the dynamics were different. Turkey had not transitioned from a period of direct to indirect colonial rule; its leaders were not kings put in place by the British or traditional elites who had gradually won a transfer of power. Since its inception in 1923, the Turkish state had been controlled by former military officers and bureaucrats. It was the Democrat Party in the 1950s that had successfully appealed to the majority of voters. The military in 1960 was, from the perspective of many voters, reinstating the rule of the old elite.


Beyond returning stability to the political process and improving the standing of the military in society, the officers leading the coup had few clear objectives. To legally justify their actions and plan further steps, the officers turned to elites in the bureaucracy and judiciary—and these groups recommended a larger role for themselves. The new constitution allowed more rights, but it also carved out a greater role for the judiciary (a constitutional court), the army (a permanent “advisory” role), and the bureaucracy (an economic planning organization). In order to raise living standards and achieve rapid industrialization, the state would raise taxes on large landlords and enact a long-discussed land-reform.[16] None of this appealed to the leadership of the conservative parties.


While the CHP was closely associated with these policies, the other parties were opposed to strengthening the state to the detriment of private property. As for the AP, its most immediate goal was to free imprisoned Democrat Party politicians—a direct rejection of the coup leaders’ decisions, and, therefore, an unacceptable policy for the military to accept. The prospect of a coalition of conservative parties undermining the accomplishments of the coup, or blocking the actions of a CHP-led government, unsettled many officers. On October 21, 1961, five days following the elections, officers favoring a second intervention met and issued a “protocol” stating their intention to intervene before parliament was schedule to convene on the October 25.[17]


The officers’ threat was serious: among the protocol’s thirty-one signatories was the military governor of Istanbul. The following day, Colonel Talat Aydemir, the head of the military academy, came out in support of the protocol as well. [18] To avoid another coup, the senior military leadership brought the four party leaders to the presidential palace October 24 and had them agree to a series of terms that would dissuade coup-plotters; these included a promise to elect Gürsel to the presidency uncontested and refrain from passing an amnesty. Under the circumstances, the party leaders had little choice but to agree.




On Wednesday, October 25, more than a year since the coup, the parliament re-convened under the auspices of a new constitution. Practically speaking, the most significant change was the creation of a senate in addition to a national assembly. Whereas previous parliaments had been elected on a majority basis (the party winning a given province receiving all of its seats), the new parliament split representation between the Senate (most of which was elected on the old majority-basis) and the Assembly (whose seats were awarded proportionally).[19] These new methods were intended to prevent situations such as had occurred in 1954 when the Republican People’s Party (CHP) won 35% of the national vote, but only 6% of the seats. Yet, even in this new system, the Justice Party (AP) won a majority in the Senate and a near plurality in the Assembly.


The parliament opened with a brief speech by Gürsel, dressed rather unsubtly in military attire.[20] He thanked the officers responsible for the recent “revolution” and called on legislators to now take up the nation’s concerns. His words were followed by a pair of resignations from the senate: one by a general and one by a lawyer named Ali Fuat Başgil. Parliament was then concluded until the presidential election the following day.[21] Unmentioned during the proceedings was the fact that Başgil, an AP member, had intended to stand for the presidency despite AP leader Ragıp Gümüşpala’s decision to support Gürsel’s candidacy. The previous day, Başgil had been pressured by the military to re-think his plans and decided to resign his seat altogether.[22]


The following day, Gürsel was elected president without opposition. That Friday, the Senate elected an AP politician as its presiding member, and the following Wednesday the Assembly elected a CHP member as its leader. Neither election was pleasing to Gürsel; the AP were opposed to the military’s objectives and the CHP had chosen a politician close to İnönü (whereas Gürsel had hoped for someone opposed to İnönü and, thus, more pliable).[23] Over the following week, Gürsel continued his efforts to marginalize İnönü. Whereas the leader of the largest party in a parliament is generally asked to try and form a government before other leaders are given a chance, Gürsel first invited the leader of the Republican Peasants’ Nation Party (CKMP). Only following this unproductive meeting did Gürsel invite İnönü and the other two party leaders, as a group, to the presidential palace.


Gürsel suggested that the three party leaders form a “Ferris Wheel government” in which each would take turns leading. Such an arrangement held no appeal. More crucially, Gürsel ’s dawdling was frustrating other military leaders.[24] Armed Forces Chief Cevdet Sunay told Gürsel as much and, on November 10, Gürsel officially authorized İnönü to form a government. Perhaps anticipating the resistance his decision would meet with, Gürsel once again invited the party leaders to the presidential palace, informed them that the situation in the country was dire, and then left the room. When the state news agency announced the development, it down-played the fact that İnönü was leader of the CHP, simply stating that President Gürsel had asked “the Malatya representative” to form a government.[25]


President Gürsel

During the following ten days worth of political horse-trading, Gürsel continued to push for a broad coalition that would include his favored New Turkey Party (YTP). Again, however, he was to be disappointed; YTP leaders continued to resist any power-sharing with the other parties, which would undermine their claims to distinctiveness.[26] As for the AP, by November 15, its leader, Gümüşpala, was willing to enter a coalition; his party’s backers in the business community were eager too, but many in the rank and file were uneasy. Ultimately, Gümüşpala split the difference: though he accepted İnönü’s offer to divide the cabinet equally between the two parties with Gümüşpala able to pick his ministers, he refused to join it himself, preferring instead to remain at a distance from İnönü’s government.[27] The move did not bode well for the coalition.



All told, the first coalition government in Turkish history lasted six months: approved by parliament on December 2, 1961, it ended on the following May 30. In between, the government was nearly overthrown by a second military coup.


The coalition depended on the threat of military intervention; in practice there was little common ground between the parties. The issue of amnesty for Democrat Party politicians remained the driving goal of the Justice Party (AP) politicians and their supporters. For the Republican People’s Party (CHP) leadership and their base, fulfilling the various promises implied by the new constitution—economic planning, unionization, and higher taxation—held equal significance. These objectives were not shared by the coalition partners.


Following the October elections, İnönü had been able to finesse the amnesty issue. When Gürsel and Sunay had forced party leaders to forego an amnesty in order to placate more radical officers, İnönü had added “for the time being” to the language of the agreement.[28] On the issue of amnesty, delaying tactics could work: they left the situation unchanged and the military content; the issue of economic planning, by contrast, was a goal that radical officers wished see realized soon. Stalling on economic issues angered radical (and ambitious) officers looking for a reason to intervene once more.


On January 2, a month after the coalition had taken office, funeral services were held for Tevfik İleri, a prominent Democrat Party politician who had died in prison three days earlier. The services offered his supporters an opportunity to express their anger. Such displays led politicians in both coalition parties to harden their positions: CHP leaders called for “social justice” and the AP Interior Minister railed against “communism.”[29] By early February, Gürsel had stepped in, holding meetings with party leaders, arguing for calm. On February 9, more than fifty radical officers, worrying that the high command was seeking to sideline them, gathered together and issued a new protocol calling for intervention by February 28.


Once again, these would-be-revolutionary officers included the military governor of Istanbul, the Istanbul garrison commander, the commander of the army corps based in İzmit, and the head of the army war college in Ankara. What the officers lacked was the support from the air force and larger Armed Forces Union (SBK) that they had expected. During the next two weeks, meetings continued between plotters and the military high commanders, who continued to discourage the junior officers from acting.


Colonel Talat Aydemir

On February 22, forces under the command of Colonel Talat Aydemir, the head of the war college, surrounded the presidential palace where Gürsel, İnönü, and Sunay were meeting. The three men, however, were able to leave the building and reach military bases controlled by loyal officers, at which point Aydemir and his allies were left with the choice of either backing down or directly engaging fellow soldiers in combat. The standoff continued into the night with Aydemir ultimately standing down after İnönü and Sunay promised an amnesty for the coup-plotters.[30]


This promise—amnesty for coup plotters, continued prison sentences for Democrats—incensed AP members. When the amnesty came up for a vote on April 30, AP parliamentarians criticized it, asking where İnönü derived the authority to make such an offer, what sort of precedent such an amnesty sent potential future coup plotters, and whether the parliament had the constitutional authority to pardon Aydemir and his allies before courts had even ruled on the matter.[31] One AP politician even attempted broadening the amnesty, pointing out that if the offense was to be struck from the books, then the crime should be as well.[32]


When the vote finally came, it passed 294-13, with 137 parliamentarians “absent.”[33] In the short-term, passing the bill strengthened İnönü’s position; it had placed AP politicians in opposition to the wishes of the military and highlighted the weakness of other party leaders in relation to their parliamentary groups. Under pressure from members of his own party to push through reforms and knowing he would have the support of the military for the time being, İnönü decided to dissolve the government and form a new cabinet that excluded the AP. On May 30, the cabinet formally resigned.


Before another general election came in 1965 and ushered in an AP-led government, Turkey would have three more coalition governments: two led by İnönü and a third effectively led by the AP. Taken as a whole, the years 1961-1965 served as a period of transition from military rule back to rule by the same groups that had run the country prior to the military coup—albeit with the role of the military more explicit.[34] The first coalition in particular was an attempt to recreate a unified political order that no longer existed.


Turkish politics had always had factions—and these only barely contained during the years of single party rule (1923-1945).[35] Once these factions were allowed to compete for voters’ support, divisions between parties and between their voters hardened. While polarization was not complete and compromise in certain matters still possible, enforcing an idealized “national unity” required the threat of force. And when that force was brought to bear, it merely hardened the divisions.


*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

[1] Gwynne Dyer, “The Origins of the ‘Nationalist’ Group of Officers in Turkey 1908- 18,” Journal of Contemporary History 8, no. 4 (October 1973): 125-126.

[2] Beginning in December 1923, officers could no longer serve in parliament. Those no longer inactive commands (like İnönü) were granted an exception (Andrew Mango, Ataturk [London: John Murray, 1999], 399).

[3] William Hale, Turkish Politics and the Military (London: Routledge, 1994), 82. As Hale points out, İnönü and Çakmak did not particularly like each other. In 1944, İnönü declined to issue an exemption necessary for the superannuated marshal to continue in his post. Before his death in 1950, Çakmak served as head of the opposition Nation Party.

[4] Kemal Karpat suggests an additional reason for İnönü to reject encouragement by generals to ignore the 1950 election results: other high-ranking generals supported his victorious opponent, Celal Bayar (Kemal Karpat, Studies on Turkish Politics and Society: Selected Articles and Essays [Boston: Brill, 2004], 38).

[5] For an interesting discussion of referendum results, see Bener Karakartal, “Bir Siyasal Katilma Türü Olarak Referendum ve 1961 Türk Anayasa Referandumu,” Istanbul Üniversitesi Iktisat Fakültesi Mecmuasi 38, no. 3-4 (1984): 174-177. Suffice it to say, the eleven western provinces rejected the constitution by modest margins while provinces in the southeast approved it by extremely high majorities.

[6] Statistics for this article are from Feroz Ahmad and Bedia Turgay Ahmad, Turkiye’de Cok Partili Politikanin Aciklamali Kronolojisi, 1945-1971 (Istanbul: Bilgi Yayınevi, 1976).

[7] In his account of prisoners of the war, Yücel Yanıkdağ points out that Gürsel, Sunay, and Gümüşpala were all prisoners of war during WWI (Healing the Nation: Prisoners of War, Medicine and Nationalism in Turkey, 1914-1939 [Edinburgh University Press, 2013], 249-50).

[8] Erik J. Zürcher, Turkey: A Modern History, 2nd ed. (New York: I.B. Tauris, 2004), 243; Ozgur Mutlu Ulus, The Army and the Radical Left in Turkey: Military Coups, Socialist Revolution, and Kemalism (London: I.B. Tauris, 2011), 15; Tanıl Bora, “Alparslan Türkeş,” in Modern Turkiye’de Siyasi Dusunce: Milliyetcilik, edited by Tanıl Bora and Murat Gültekingil, 686-695(Istanbul: İletişim Yayınları 2008).

In Argentina, we can see Juan Peron, one of the clearest examples of a young officer rising to power, using his position as Minister of Labor to form connections with key segments of the society (Eduardo Elena, Dignifying Argentina: Peronism, Citizenship and Mass Culture [Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh, 2011], 83).

[9] Karpat puts the number of radicals on the MB at twenty (Kemal Karpat, “The Military and Politics in Turkey, 1960-64: A Socio-Cultural Analysis of a Revolution,” The American Historical Review 75, no. 6 [Oct., 1970]: 1676).

[10] For the sake of narrative simplicity in an already complicated account, I am avoiding mention of the Armed Forces Union (SBK), which represented the interests of the army’s higher command and came to be far more important in the long term than the MBK. The risk—or, really, the effect—of this omission is to make Cemal Gürsel’s position seem more synonymous with the military leadership than it may actually have been between 1960 and 1966.

[11] Hale, 72.

[12] The former governor of Istanbul, Fahrettin Kerim Gökay “would have joined the AP, but after meeting with Gürsel, he joined the YTP.” (Hüseyin Çavuşoğlu, “Merkez Sağda 27 Mayıs ve 12 Eylül Sonrası Partileşme,” [Party Formation In The Centre Right After May 27 And September 12] Balıkesir Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Dergisi 12, no. 22 [December 2009]: 169). Citing Cüneyt Arcayürek, Çavuşoğlu also claims that Gürsel directed one million lira of financial support to the YTP (168fn2).

[13] Çavuşoğlu: 169.

[14] I avoid mentioning the Turkish Workers’ Party (TİP), which was also founded in early 1961, but which did not win any seats in the October election. During the years to follow, President Gürsel did not meet with its leaders. He further signaled his opposition to class-based politics by serving as honorary head of the Struggle With Communism Society—a post he did not give up until pushed by İnönü (Rıdvan Akın, “Türkiye’nin Siyasal Dinamikleri: 27 Mayıs 1960 İhtilalinden Adalet Partisi İktidarına,” [Turkish Political Dynamics: From The Coup of 27 the May to Justice Party Rule] Türkoloji Kültürü 1, no. 2 [2008]: 15; Ulus, 36-37).

[15] For a good summary of this argument, see Hanna Batatu, The Egyptian, Syrian, and Iraqi Revolutions: Some Observations on Their Underlying Causes and Social Character (Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, 1984).

[16] Within two months of the coup, the military directed the Ministry of Agriculture to draw up a land reform bill. The 1961 constitution even included language that could be interpreted to mandate a more equal distribution of land. The ensuing legislation, however, was delayed by one government after another. With migration to urban centers and Europe easing rural overpopulation, popular demand for land redistribution waned, allowing organized landlord interests to lobby against the legislation (Reşat Aktan, “Problems of land reform in Turkey,” The Middle East Journal 20, no. 3 [Summer 1966]: 324-30; Feroz Ahmad, The Turkish Experiment in Democracy, 1950-1975 [Boulder: Westview Press, 1977], 276-78; Manoucher Parvin and Mukerrem Hic, “Land Reform versus Agricultural Reform: Turkish Miracle or Catastrophe Delayed?” International Journal of Middle East Studies 16, no. 2 [May, 1984]: 215).

[17] Diren Çakmak, “Türkiye’de Asker-Hükümet İlişkisi: Albay Talat Aydemir Örneği,” [Military-Civil Relations in Turkey: The Example of Colonel Talat Aydemir] Akademik Bakış 35, no.1.2 (Summer 2008): 37.

[18] Hale, 145-146.

[19] The senate contained 188 members: 150 were elected by the public; fifteen were appointed by the president; and twenty (i.e. former MBK members) were given seats as “senators for life”. For an excellent discussion of electoral apportionment, see William Hale, “The Role of the Electoral System in Turkish,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 11, no. 3 (May, 1980): 404-405.

[20] Akın, 20fn30.

[21] T.B.M.M. Tutanak Dergisi, 10/25/61.

[22] Suavi Aydın and Yüksel Taşkın, 1960’tan Günümüze: Türkiye Tarihi (Istanbul: İletişim, 2015), 101-102.

[23] Metin Toker, İnönü’nün Son Başkanlığı, 1961-1965 (Ankara: Bilgi Yayınevi, 1992), 12. Specifically, Gürsel had hoped for Nihat Erim or Kasım Gülek, both politicians who were on the outs with İnönü. Erim received support from the AP during the voting for lower-house president (Feroz Ahmad and Bedia Turgay Ahmad, 240).

[24] Toker, 14-15.

[25] Ibid., 20-22.

[26] With the media party leaders played coy. Asked whether they would enter the coalition, CKMP leader Osman Bölükbaşı told reporters they were, “Measuring the underwear before the baby’s born,” and the YTP’s Ekrem Alican, button-holed by reporters as he arrived at the parliament, explained, “Now we’re entering [the building], then we’ll think about [entering the cabinet]” (Akis, [11/13/61]: 9).

[27] The AP was given important ministries including Interior, Commerce, Transportation, and Agriculture; it was not, however, given key ones like Justice, Foreign Affairs, Defense, or Economy, which might have brought it into contact with the military and, perhaps, press its goal of an amnesty (Derya Şimşek, “Türk Siyasal Yaşamında İlk Koalisyon Hükümeti: CHP-AP Koalisyon [1961-1962],” Atatürk Kültür, Dil ve Tarih Yüksek Kurumu: 2962-2963.

[28] Hale, 147.

[29] Feroz Ahmad and Bedia Turgay Ahmad, 243-244.

[30] Hale, 156-160.

[31] Milet Meclisi Tutanak Dergisi, 4/30/62: 58, 62, 64.

[32] Ibid., 73-74.

[33] Many parliamentarians absented themselves. The thirteen who rejected the bill outright were a mixed bunch: 8 CKMP, 4 AP, and 1 YTP who would become an AP member for the 1965 election. The CKMP votes (amounting to 15% of the party’s parliamentary members) were voting in direct contradiction to the leader, Osman Bölükbaşı, who voted in favor along with the other party leaders. On the other hand—just to give added complexity to the events—these same politicians who rejected İnönü and the army’s amnesty were not among the CKHP members who joined with Bölükbaşı several days later and resigned the party, refusing to join a military-backed coalition with İnönü’s CHP and the YTP (“BÖLÜKBA5I VE 22 ARKADAŞI İSTİFA ETTİ,” Milliyet, 6/2/62).

[34] In terms of leadership, Feroz Ahmad argues that the coup effectively removed the old political class and opened up positions in center-right politics to a new generation of politicians, figures like Süleyman Demirel who would otherwise have remained in the bureaucracy and private sector (Feroz Ahmad, The Making of Modern Turkey [London: Routledge, 1993], 138). As for the military, not only was its role written into the constitution, and not only were pay raises for officers voted through by the MBK after the coup, but institutions like the Army Forces Mutual Assistance Fund (OYAK) were also established to give the military a greater role in the economy (Ibid., 130-131; Ahmad, The Turkish Experiment, 280-281; Hale, 174).

[35] The idea of a “single party era” stretching over twenty-two years is a useful generalization, but it ignores the very real divisions: during the first three years of the republic (1923-26) conservatives organized to resist Mustafa Kemal’s secularizing and centralizing efforts; in 1930, an attempt at multiparty party politics only served to reveal the intensity of opposition to the Ankara government; the 1930s were a time of tension between supporters of İnönü and Celal Bayar, which never wholly ended; and during the 1940s, fascist and liberal elements in the government jockeyed for influence.