The 1960 military coup toppled the Democrat Party (DP) government led by Prime Minister Adnan Menderes. The junta took control of the administration, alleging that the state's secular character was at risk. The Council of Supreme Justice ruled in favor of the execution of 15 leading actors of the toppled civil administration in Yassıada. Three of the executions were carried out: Menderes, Minister of Foreign Affairs Fatin Rüştü Zorlu and Minister of Finance Hasan Polatkan.
Several civil society groups, under the umbrella of an anti-coup coalition named 70 Million Steps Against Coups, will travel to Yassıada at around 11 a.m. on Friday. The civil society groups will hold a forum at the island, called “Ergenekon: Still the same as it was 51 years ago.” Ergenekon is a clandestine criminal network accused of plotting to overthrow the government. Dozens of its suspected members -- including members of the military, academics and businessmen -- are currently in prison on coup charges.
Among the civil society groups travelling to Yassıada include the Association of Human Rights and Solidarity for Oppressed Peoples (MAZLUM-DER), Civilian Solidarity Platform (SDP), Young Civilians and the Freedom Movement. Many prominent figures, including politician Ufuk Uras, former public prosecutor Sacit Kayasu, Judges and Prosecutors Association for Democracy and Freedom Co-chairman Osman Can, author Mete Tunçay, former DP leader Süleyman Soylu, columnist Mahmut Övür, sociologist Ferhat Kentel, writer Roni Margulies and academic Bekir Berat Özipek.