Kenan Evren

Evren, Kenan (kĕnänˈ ĕv-rĕnˈ) [key], 1918–, Turkish military and political leader, president of Turkey (1982–89). Educated at the Turkish Military Academy, he graduated as an artillary officer in 1938. He became a staff officer in 1949, and led Turkish forces in Korea from 1958 to 1959. He was appointed brigadier general in 1964 and became chief of the Turkish general staff in 1978. Two years later Evren led a military coup, overthrowing Turkey's faltering civilian government, and in 1982 he became Turkey's president. Under his leadership a new constitution was established, political parties were abolished, and all opposition was suppressed. Although he stepped down from the presidency in 1989, his rule set the tone for the country's government for many years. In 2012, Evren was charged and then tried for offense relating to the coup; he was accused of creating the coup, killing some 350 political prisoners, and arresting thousands more.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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