Cevdet Sunay

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Cevdet Sunay
Turkse chef Generale staf (Generaal Sunay), Bestanddeelnr 916-7534.jpg
5th President of Turkey
In office
28 March 1966 28 March 1973
Prime Minister Süleyman Demirel
Nihat Erim
Ferit Melen
Preceded by Cemal Gürsel
Succeeded by Fahri Korutürk
Chief of the General Staff of Turkey
In office
4 August 1960 16 March 1966
Preceded by Ragıp Gümüşpala
Succeeded by Cemal Tural
Commander of the Turkish Army
In office
3 June 1960 2 August 1960
Preceded by Cemal Gürsel
Succeeded byMehmet Muzaffer Alankuş
Personal details
Born10 February 1899
Çaykara, Trabzon Vilayet, Ottoman Empire
Died22 May 1982(1982-05-22) (aged 83)
Istanbul, Turkey
Resting place Turkish State Cemetery
Political party Independent
Spouse(s) Atıfet Sunay
Signature Cevdet Sunay imza.png
Military service
AllegianceFlag of the Ottoman Empire.svg  Ottoman Empire
Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey
Branch/serviceFlag of the Ottoman Empire.svg  Ottoman Army
Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkish Land Forces
Rank General
Battles/wars World War I Turkish War of Independence

Cevdet Sunay (Turkish:  [ˈdʒevdet ˈsunaj] ; 10 February 1899 22 May 1982) was a Turkish politician and army officer, who served as the fifth President of Turkey from 1966 to 1973.

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.

An army or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the broadest sense, it is the land-based military branch, service branch or armed service of a nation or state. It may also include aviation assets by possessing an army aviation component. In certain states, the term army refers to the entire armed forces. Within a national military force, the word army may also mean a field army.

Officer (armed forces) member of an armed force or uniformed service who holds a position of authority

An officer is a member of an armed forces or uniformed service who holds a position of authority.


Early life and career

Sunay was born in 1899 in Trabzon, in the Ottoman Empire. After attending elementary school and middle school in Erzurum and Edirne, he graduated from Kuleli Military High School in Istanbul. During World War I, he fought in 1917 at the Palestine front and became a prisoner of war of the British in Egypt in 1918. After his release, he fought first on the southern front, then on the western front during the Turkish War of Independence.

Trabzon Metropolitan municipality in Turkey

Trabzon, historically known as Trebizond, is a city on the Black Sea coast of northeastern Turkey and the capital of Trabzon Province. Trabzon, located on the historical Silk Road, became a melting pot of religions, languages and culture for centuries and a trade gateway to Persia in the southeast and the Caucasus to the northeast. The Venetian and Genoese merchants paid visits to Trebizond during the medieval period and sold silk, linen and woolen fabric; the Republic of Genoa had an important merchant colony within the city called Leonkastron that played a role to Trebizond similar to the one Galata played to Constantinople. Trabzon formed the basis of several states in its long history and was the capital city of the Empire of Trebizond between 1204 and 1461. During the early modern period, Trabzon, because of the importance of its port, again became a focal point of trade to Persia and the Caucasus.

Ottoman Empire Former empire in Asia, Europe and Africa

The Ottoman Empire, historically known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or simply Turkey, was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, and with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire. The Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror.

Erzurum Metropolitan municipality in Erzurum Province, Turkey

Erzurum is a city in eastern Anatolia. It is the largest city in and eponymous capital of Erzurum Province. It is situated 1757 meters (5766 feet) above sea level. Erzurum had a population of 361,235 in the 2000 census, increasing to 367,250 by 2010.

Sunay completed his military education in 1927, and graduated from the staff college in 1930 as a staff officer. Rising through the ranks to become a general in 1949 and then a four-star general in 1959, he held important military posts. In 1960, he was appointed army chief and later joint chief of staff. On 14 March 1966, he was appointed to the senate by Cemal Gürsel under his presidential contingency.

The Army War College, is an academic institution of the Turkish Armed Forces. It is sometimes referred to in English as the Turkish Military College.

Senate of the Republic (Turkey)

Senate of the Republic was the upper house of Turkish Parliament between 1961 and 1980. It was established with the Turkish constitution of 1961 and abolished with the 1982 constitution, although it did not exist after 12 September 1980 as a result of the 1980 coup d'état.

Cemal Gürsel Turkish general and politician

Cemal Gürsel was a Turkish army officer, and the fourth President of Turkey.

When Gürsel's presidency was terminated due to ill health in accordance with the constitution, Cevdet Sunay was elected 5th president by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey on 28 March 1966. He maintained his office despite increasing terrorist activity, student riots, and threatened coups. He served the constitutional term of seven years until 28 March 1973 and became then a permanent senator.

Grand National Assembly of Turkey parliament of Turkey

The Grand National Assembly of Turkey, usually referred to simply as the TBMM or Parliament, is the unicameral Turkish legislature. It is the sole body given the legislative prerogatives by the Turkish Constitution. It was founded in Ankara on 23 April 1920 in the midst of the National Campaign. The parliament was fundamental in the efforts of Mareşal Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, 1st President of the Republic of Turkey, and his colleagues to found a new state out of the remnants of the Ottoman Empire.

Terrorism use of violence and intimidation against civilians in order to further a political goal

Terrorism is, in the broadest sense, the use of intentionally indiscriminate violence as a means to create terror among masses of people; or fear to achieve a religious or political aim. It is used in this regard primarily to refer to violence during peacetime or in war against non-combatants. The terms "terrorist" and "terrorism" originated during the French Revolution of the late 18th century but gained mainstream popularity in the 1970s in news reports and books covering the conflicts in Northern Ireland, the Basque Country and Palestine. The increased use of suicide attacks from the 1980s onwards was typified by the September 11 attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. in 2001.

He was married to Atıfet in 1929. [1] They had three children. [2]

Atıfet Sunay was the First Lady of Turkey from 28 March 1966 until 28 March 1973 during the presidency of her husband Cevdet Sunay.


Cemal Sunay was elected as the fifth president by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey on 28 March 1966. His presidential service continued until 28 March 1973 he had to go through some tough times. During 1961 and 1965 Süleyman Demirel, Nihat Erim and Ferit Melen where the most prominent members in Sunay’s administration. Cevdet Sunay resigned as president due to deteriorating health conditions.


Cevdet Sunay died of a heart attack on 22 May 1982 in Istanbul. His body was moved in August 1988 to a permanent burial place in the newly built Turkish State Cemetery in Ankara.


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  1. "Çankaya'nın First Lady'leri". Hürriyet (in Turkish). 15 April 2007. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  2. "Sunay'ın eşi vefat etti". Radikal (in Turkish). 22 October 2002. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  3. Badraie Archived March 5, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
Military offices
Preceded by
Cemal Gürsel
Commander of the Turkish Army
3 June 1960 – 2 August 1960
Succeeded by
Mehmet Muzaffer Alankuş
Preceded by
Ragıp Gümüşpala
Chief of the General Staff of Turkey
4 August 1960 – 16 March 1966
Succeeded by
Cemal Tural
Political offices
Preceded by
Cemal Gürsel
President of Turkey
28 March 1966 – 28 March 1973
Succeeded by
Fahri Korutürk