Kenan Evren, Ex-Turkish President and 1980 Coup Leader, Dies

Kenan Evren, who led a military coup in Turkey that ended years of political turmoil with harsh measures for which he was later tried and convicted, died on Saturday aged 97.

Evren, who was president for seven years, died at a military hospital in Ankara, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

At the time of the coup, Evren was lauded for ending street clashes between rival groups that left thousands dead and some fearing a descent into civil war. Yet his legacy was tarnished by the wave of arrests, torture, and extra-judicial killings that followed.

In 2014 Evren and other surviving members of the coup were convicted to life in prison for crimes against the state. The court decision also demoted Evren to the rank of private.

The trial was the first to convict a former coup leader in a country that has witnessed repeated military interventions before the rise to power of the current president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan has made re-writing the constitution imposed by Evren in 1982 a central issue of parliamentary elections in June.

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