In a series of trials that followed after the military takeover in 1960 in Turkey, almost 600 people were indicted. Those people included some high profile politicians such as the President and the Prime minister of Turkey. These two men became protagonists of rather unusual trials…
Back in 1950s: Visiting the Turkish president Celal Bayar, Afghan king gifts him a dog, which is of Afghan hound breed.
The hound whose name does not seem to be remembered was fed and nurtured for years by public money in a state farm. Later, with the help of the Minister of Agriculture, the dog was sold to a public Zoo for 20,000 Turkish liras. Unfortunately for the President, the event made headlines right around the time when the military decided to seize power in May 27, 1960. The Afghan hound story displeased the military junta to such an extent that it dealt with it first before other matters. It was actually the first court case out of the series held at Yassiada. It also became the very first case in the history of Turkish Republic in which the head of the state was accused of anything.
For the record: The former President Celal Bayar managed to prove that the money from the dog sales was used to build a well in a needy countryside and was acquitted. (However, the sentences from other post-coup trials added up to the perpetuity imprisonment).
Former Prime minister’s, Adnan Menderes, case was much more “intimate” so to say. Out of thirteen cases against Adnan Menderes, two of them concerned his extramarital affair with a well-known opera singer Ayhan Aydan. In one of them, accused of killing the child born out of the wedlock, Menderes admitted publicly his love affair. However, he denied any connection whatsoever to the death of the new born. His mistress Aydan claimed that the only thing she wished for was to have a child of this beloved man. After a doctor excluded murder as well, this became the only case where the former head of the government was acquitted.
For the record: the sentences in other cases against Adnan Menderes were added up to a death penalty. He is thus the first and only Turkish Prime minister who was hanged.
These two cases show that the junta, dealing with dethroned politicians, didn’t just go with the most serious charges such as the violation of the constitution. They wanted to have it all in… and that is how extramarital affairs and Afghan hound got their spot in this highly controversial chapter of Turkish history.