Street in western Turkey given name of executed minor
AYDIN – Doğan News AgencyThe name of a street in the Aegean province of Aydın has been changed from Kenan Evren Street to Erdal Eren Street to honor a 17-year-old high school student who was executed following the 1980 Turkish military coup led by Kenan Evren.
The two names date back to the 1980s when Evren, a former general, led a military coup whose rule unleashed a wave of arrests, torture and extrajudicial killings.
Eren was among those executed on charges of killing a soldier during political violence ahead of the coup, despite a plea of innocence, and he was just 17 when the military hanged him.
The Aydın Metropolitan Municipal Assembly held a meeting on June 9 headed by Aydın Mayor Özlem Çerçioğlu from the Republican People’s Party (CHP). During the meeting, it was determined to change the name of Kenan Evren Street in the Kuşadası district of Aydın to Erdal Eren Street.
The move came a month after the death of Evren, the former general who headed the coup which sent 650,000 people into prison and put 230,000 on trial. Military prosecutors had demanded the death penalty for 7,000 people at the time; 517 received the death penalty and 50 were hanged.
Eren was sentenced to death for killing a soldier in a clash in an Ankara suburb shortly after the 1980 coup and was hanged. Eren was 17 when he committed the act and his sentence sparked a lot of debate over sentencing of a minor.
Eren was executed on Dec. 18, 1980, after his age was officially changed to 18, since it was not legally permissible to hang someone under 18.