The Turkish president on Wednesday marked the 60th anniversary of the country’s first-ever military coup with the inauguration of the Democracy and Liberties Island.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan said 60 years ago, Turkey experienced one of the darkest days of its history with May 27 coup.

Erdogan stressed that not only then Prime Minister Adnan Menderes and his aides were tried in Yassiada, but also the Turkish history, culture, values and beliefs.

Speaking about the trials on the island, Erdogan said it was not a trial but a “murder of law” in Yassiada.

Parliament Speaker Mustafa Sentop, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli, Vice President Fuat Oktay, Constitutional Court President Zuhtu Arslan, Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin, other bureaucrats, politicians, commanders-in-chief of armed forces, representatives of non-governmental organizations and bar associations also attended the inauguration ceremony.

Yassiada, one of the Princes’ Islands located in the Sea of Marmara southeast of Istanbul, is notorious for jails and trials from the 1960 military coup. It was renamed Democracy and Liberties Island in 2013.

The island is where Turkey’s first democratically elected Prime Minister Menderes, along with leading Democratic Party (DP) members, were arrested after the May 27, 1960 coup and later jailed and tried.

After a biased and illegal trial on the island, President Celal Bayar, Premier Menderes, Foreign Minister Fatin Rustu Zorlu and Finance Minister Hasan Polatkan were sentenced to death. Bayar later received clemency from the sentence.

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