Turkey's May 27, 1960 Coup through The French Diplomatic Reports


BILIG, no.90, pp.43-65, 2019 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: Issue: 90
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.12995/bilig.9003
  • Journal Name: BILIG
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.43-65
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


The rule of Democratic Party and the May 27, 1960 coup that ended it are accepted as the first experience of true multi-party political life, and as a critical turning-point in Turkish political history representing the first military coup. With this in mind, this work re-reads the coup through the reports and analysis of the French embassy in Ankara. The reports sent to Paris by Henry Spitzmuller, the French ambassador of the time, on May 27 and afterwards reflect the responses to political developments in diplomatic circles, most of all the political landscape which emerged in Turkey following the coup. It also, more importantly, provides us with important clues as to the causes of the coup. The French saw the main reasons for the coup as being the constitutional order left over from the one-party era, the partisanship of the president and the authoritarian attitude of Adnan Menderes towards opposition.