Celâl Bayar

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Celâl Bayar
Mahmut Celal Bayar.jpg
3rd President of Turkey
In office
27 May 1950 27 May 1960
Prime Minister Adnan Menderes
Preceded by İsmet İnönü
Succeeded by Cemal Gürsel
3rd Prime Minister of Turkey
In office
1 November 1937 25 January 1939
President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
İsmet İnönü
Preceded by İsmet İnönü
Succeeded by Refik Saydam
Leader of the Democratic Party
In office
7 June 1946 9 June 1950
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded by Adnan Menderes
Member of the Grand National Assembly
In office
28 June 1923 14 May 1950
Constituency Izmir (1923, 1927, 1931, 1935, 1939, 1943, 1946)
Personal details
Born(1883-05-16)16 May 1883
Gemlik, Ottoman Empire
Died22 August 1986(1986-08-22) (aged 103)
Istanbul, Turkey
Political party Democratic Party (1946–1961)
Republican People's Party (1923–1945)
Committee of Union and Progress (1908–1922)
Spouse(s)Reşide Bayar (18861962)
Signature Celal Bayar Signature.svg

Mahmut Celâl Bayar (16 May 1883 – 22 August 1986) [1] [2] was a Turkish politician, who was the third President of Turkey from 1950 to 1960; previously he was Prime Minister of Turkey from 1937 to 1939. Bayar, as the Turkish President, was decorated with the Legion of Merit by the President of the United States, as a result of Turkey's participation in the Korean War. He is considered to be the longest-lived former head of state and was the longest-lived state leader until 8 December 2008 (when he was surpassed by Chau Sen Cocsal Chhum). Celal Bayar died on 22 August 1986 at the age of 103 after a brief illness.

Turkish people or the Turks, also known as Anatolian Turks, are a Turkic ethnic group and nation living mainly in Turkey and speaking Turkish, the most widely spoken Turkic language. They are the largest ethnic group in Turkey, as well as by far the largest ethnic group among the speakers of Turkic languages. Ethnic Turkish minorities exist in the former lands of the Ottoman Empire. In addition, a Turkish diaspora has been established with modern migration, particularly in Western Europe.

Prime Minister of Turkey head of government of Turkey until 9 July 2018

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey was the head of government of the Republic of Turkey from 1920 to 2018. The prime minister was the leader of a political coalition in the Turkish parliament (Meclis) and the leader of the cabinet. The last holder of the position is Binali Yıldırım of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), who took office on 24 May 2016.

Legion of Merit military award of the United States Armed Forces

The Legion of Merit (LOM) is a military award of the United States Armed Forces that is given for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements. The decoration is issued to members of the seven uniformed services of the United States as well as to military and political figures of foreign governments.


Early years

Bayar was born on 16 May 1883 at Umurbey, a village of Gemlik, Bursa [3] as the son of a religious leader and teacher who migrated from Lom, Ottoman Bulgaria. After school, he worked as a clerk, first in the court in Gemlik, then in Ziraat Bankası, and then in the Deutsche Orientbank in Bursa.

Gemlik Place in Bursa, Turkey

Gemlik is a town and district in the Bursa Province in Turkey on the southern gulf of Armutlu Peninsula on the coast of the Sea of Marmara. It is located approximately 29 km (18 mi) from Bursa, not far from Istanbul. Gemlik was called Kios until 1922, when its Greek inhabitants, who composed around 80% of the population, forced to leave Asia Minor as part of the population exchange with Greece]. As of 2009, the total population of Gemlik is 100,000.

Immigration Movement of people into another country or region to which they are not native

Immigration is the international movement of people into a destination country of which they are not natives or where they do not possess citizenship in order to settle or reside there, especially as permanent residents or naturalized citizens, or to take up employment as a migrant worker or temporarily as a foreign worker.

The history of Ottoman Bulgaria spans nearly 500 years, from the conquest by the Ottoman Empire of the smaller kingdoms emerging from the disintegrating Second Bulgarian Empire in the late 14th century, to the Liberation of Bulgaria in 1878. As a result of the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878), the Principality of Bulgaria, a self-governing Ottoman vassal state that was functionally independent, was created. In 1885 the autonomous province of Eastern Rumelia came under the control of the Bulgarian Tsar. Bulgaria declared independence in 1908.

Political career

In 1908, Bayar joined the volunteer’s troop of the Committee of Union and Progress, a political organization of Young Turks. He served as the secretary-general of the newly founded Bursa branch and later of the İzmir branch of the party.

The Committee of Union and Progress (CUP), later the Party of Union and Progress, began as a secret society established as the Committee of the Ottoman Union in Istanbul on 6 February 1889 by medical students Ibrahim Temo, Mehmed Reshid, Abdullah Cevdet, İshak Sükuti, Ali Hüseyinzade, Kerim Sebatî, Mekkeli Sabri Bey, Nazım Bey, Şerafettin Mağmumi, Cevdet Osman and Giritli Şefik. It was transformed into a political organisation by Behaeddin Shakir, aligning itself with the Young Turks in 1906 during the period of the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. In the West, members of the CUP were usually called Young Turks while in the Ottoman Empire its members were known as Unionists.

Young Turks Political reform movement in the Ottoman Empire

Young Turks was a political reform movement in the early 20th century that consisted of Ottoman exiles, students, civil servants, and army officers. They favoured the replacement of the Ottoman Empire's absolute monarchy with a constitutional government. Later, their leaders led a rebellion against the absolute rule of Sultan Abdul Hamid II in the 1908 Young Turk Revolution. With this revolution, the Young Turks helped to establish the Second Constitutional Era in 1908, ushering in an era of multi-party democracy for the first time in the country's history.

Bursa Metropolitan municipality in Marmara, Turkey

Bursa is a large city in Turkey, located in northwestern Anatolia, within the Marmara Region. It is the fourth most populous city in Turkey and one of the most industrialized metropolitan centres in the country. The city is also the administrative centre of Bursa Province.

In 1919, Bayar was elected to the Ottoman Parliament in Istanbul as deputy of Saruhan (today Manisa). As he disagreed with the new constitution determined by the sultan, in 1920 he went to Ankara to join Mustafa Kemal and the Turkish Independence Movement. He became an active member of the "Müdafaa-i Hukuk Cemiyeti" (Association for Defence of Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia), another political organization formed after World War I. He became the deputy of Bursa in the newly established Grand National Assembly of Turkey. The same year, he served as Deputy Minister of the Economy and on 27 February 1921 he was appointed as the Minister of the Economy. He led the negotiation commission during Çerkes Ethem's uprising. In 1922, Bayar was a member of the Turkish delegation during the Lausanne Peace Conference as an advisor to İsmet İnönü. After the elections in 1923, he served as the deputy of İzmir in the Parliament. On 6 March 1924 Celâl Bayar was appointed Minister of Exchange construction and Settlemen (until 7 July 1924). [4] On 26 August 1924, he founded Türkiye İş Bankası in Ankara by using as capital the gold bullion sent by the Muslims in India to support the Turkish War of Independence. He was the Managing Director of what was the largest Turkish commercial bank until 1932.

Istanbul Metropolitan municipality in Marmara, Turkey

Istanbul, formerly known as Byzantium and Constantinople, is the most populous city in Turkey and the country's economic, cultural and historic center. Istanbul is a transcontinental city in Eurasia, straddling the Bosporus strait between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. Its commercial and historical center lies on the European side and about a third of its population lives in suburbs on the Asian side of the Bosporus. With a total population of around 15 million residents in its metropolitan area, Istanbul is one of the world's most populous cities, ranking as the world's fourth largest city proper and the largest European city. The city is the administrative center of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. Istanbul is viewed as a bridge between the East and West.

Manisa metropolitan municipality in Manisa Province, Aegean Region, Turkey

Manisa is a large city in Turkey's Aegean Region and the administrative seat of Manisa Province.

Constitution Set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed

A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity, and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed.

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and Celal Bayar on the Ertugrul Yacht, 1937 K.Ataturk ve Celal Bayar.jpg
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and Celal Bayar on the Ertugrul Yacht, 1937

On 1 November 1937 Mustafa Kemal Atatürk appointed Bayar as Prime Minister of the 9th Government of Turkey after İsmet İnönü left the government. He continued to serve as prime minister when Atatürk died and İnönü became president in 1938 (10th government of Turkey). Differences of opinion with Inönü led him to resign from the position on 25 January 1939.

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk Turkish field marshal, revolutionary statesman, and founder of the Republic of Turkey

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was a Turkish field marshal (Mareşal), revolutionary statesman, author, and founder of the Republic of Turkey, serving as its first President from 1923 until his death in 1938. Ideologically a secularist and nationalist, his policies and theories became known as Kemalism.

9th government of Turkey

The 9th government of Turkey was a government in the history of Turkey. It is also called first Bayar government.

İsmet İnönü Turkish general and statesman

Mustafa İsmet İnönü was a Turkish general and statesman, who served as the second President of Turkey from 10 November 1938 to 27 May 1950, when his Republican People's Party was defeated in Turkey's second free elections. He also served as the first Chief of the General Staff from 1922 to 1924, and as the first Prime Minister after the declaration of the Republic, serving three terms: from 1923 to 1924, 1925 to 1937, and 1961 to 1965. As President, he was granted the official title of "Millî Şef".

Until 1945, he was a member of Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi (the Republican People's Party), a republican party which most often during the Atatürk era had been the sole legal party. Then on 7 January 1946, he founded Demokrat Parti (the Democratic Party), a socially conservative economically liberal party, along with Adnan Menderes, Fuat Köprülü and Refik Koraltan. The DP won, with 408 of 487 seats, a majority in the first free general elections in Turkish history on 14 May 1950. The parliament elected Bayar, the chairman of the DP, as president of Turkey. He was subsequently re-elected in 1954 and 1957, serving for 10 years as president. In that period, Adnan Menderes was his prime minister. It was under his presidency that the anti-Greek Istanbul Pogrom took place on 6–7 September 1955.

Republicanism is a representative approach to democratic organization. It is a political ideology centered on citizenship in a state organized as a republic under which the people hold popular sovereignty. It has had different definitions and interpretations which vary significantly based on historical context and methodological approach.

A one-party state, single-party state, one-party system, or single-party system is a type of state in which one political party has the right to form the government, usually based on the existing constitution. All other parties are either outlawed or allowed to take only a limited and controlled participation in elections. Sometimes the term de facto one-party state is used to describe a dominant-party system that, unlike the one-party state, allows democratic multiparty elections, but the existing practices or balance of political power effectively prevent the opposition from winning the elections.

Conservatism is a political and social philosophy promoting traditional social institutions in the context of culture and civilization. The central tenets of conservatism include tradition, human imperfection, hierarchy, authority, and property rights. Conservatives seek to preserve a range of institutions such as monarchy, religion, parliamentary government, and property rights, with the aim of emphasizing social stability and continuity. The more extreme elements—reactionaries—oppose modernism and seek a return to "the way things were".

President Celal Bayar of Turkey receives a standing ovation after his speech before a joint session of Congress. Behind him are Vice-President Nixon and Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn (1954). Celal Bayar addresses US Congress, 1954.jpg
President Celal Bayar of Turkey receives a standing ovation after his speech before a joint session of Congress. Behind him are Vice-President Nixon and Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn (1954).

1960 coup d’etat

On 27 May 1960 the armed forces staged a coup d’etat. On 10 June they sent Celal Bayar along with Adnan Menderes and some other government and party members to a military court on the tiny island of Yassiada in the Sea of Marmara . He and 15 other party members were tried for violating the constitution and sentenced to death by a kangaroo court appointed by the junta on 15 September 1961. The ruling military committee approved the death sentence for Menderes, Zorlu and Polatkan, but the punishment for Bayar and other 12 party members was commuted to life imprisonment. Bayar was sent to a prison in Kayseri, but he was released on 7 November 1964 due to ill health.

Later years and personal life

Celal Bayar during a state visit to West Germany in 1958 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F005558-0005, Staatsbesuch Prasident der Turkei, Bayar.jpg
Celal Bayar during a state visit to West Germany in 1958

Bayar was pardoned in 1966. [5] Full political rights were restored to him in 1974, but he declined an invitation to become a life member of the Senate, on the grounds that one can represent the people only if elected. [6] He died on 22 August 1986 in Istanbul at the age of 103 after a brief illness. [7] From 24 April 1978, when former Paraguay President Federico Chávez died, until his own death Bayar was the world's oldest living former head of state.

Bayar was the father of three children: Refii (1904–1940), Turgut (1911–1983) and Nilufer (1921– ).

Refii Bayar was the General Manager of "Milli Reasurans," a reinsurance company, from 1929 to 1939, was the founder of "Halk Evleri", an educational government entity in Istanbul, and was a journalist and published the Halk newspaper between 1939 and 1941 with Cemal Kutay.

Nilüfer Gürsoy married Ahmet İhsan Gürsoy (1913–2008), who was the Kütahya deputy for the Democratic Party between 1946 and 1960, the Bursa deputy for the Justice Party between 1965 and 1969 and İstanbul deputy for the Democratic Party between 1973 and 1975 and then for the Justice Party between 1975 and 1980.

Awards and legacy

Ismet Inonu and Celal Bayar in 1938. President Inonu and PM Bayar.jpg
İsmet İnönü and Celal Bayar in 1938.

In 1954, Bayar was awarded the Grand Cross Special Class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Sonderstufe des Großkreuzes des Verdienstordens der Bundesrepublik Deutschland). January 27, 1954 Bayar received the Legion of Merit Award from the USA. In 1954, Bayar was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Belgrade. In 1958, the Freie Universität Berlin (Free University Berlin) awarded him an honorary doctorate. The Celal Bayar University, which was established in 1992 in Manisa, is named after him.



  1. Profile of Mahmut Celâl Bayar
  2. Frank W. Thackeray; John E. Findling; et al. (2001). The History of Turkey. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. Retrieved 20 December 2013.  via Questia (subscription required)
  3. Erhard Franz: "Biographien führender Persönlichkeiten des öffentlichen Lebens. Bayar, Mahmut Celâl", in: Klaus-Detlev Grothusen (Hrg.): "Türkei. Südosteuropa-Handbuch. Band IV", Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1985 ISBN   3-525-36204-8, p. 760.
  4. Celâl Bayar Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
  5. Celal Bayar website
  6. https://www.nytimes.com/1986/08/23/obituaries/celal-bayar-dies-at-age-104-a-father-of-turkish-republic.html
Political offices
Preceded by
İsmet İnönü
Prime Minister of Turkey
1 November 1937 – 25 January 1939
Succeeded by
Refik Saydam
Preceded by
İsmet İnönü
President of Turkey
22 May 1950 – 27 May 1960
Succeeded by
Cemal Gürsel
Party political offices
New political party Leader of the Democratic Party
7 June 1946 – 9 June 1950
Succeeded by
Adnan Menderes

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