Last general of 1980 coup in Turkey laid to rest
ISTANBUL - Anadolu Agency
Hürriyet photo/Ayşegül UstaTurkey's last general from the country's bloody 1980 coup era was laid to rest in Istanbul on Saturday, having passed away two days ago at the age of 90.
Following a military ceremony, Tahsin Şahinkaya was buried in Karacaahmet Cemetery following the noon prayer and a funeral ceremony at Selimiye Mosque, which was attended by a large number of high-ranking officers.
The former Air Force general had passed away on Thursday due to multiple organ failure at the GATA Haydarpasa Research Hospital, where he had been receiving treatment for some time.
He was one of the five leaders of the 1980 military coup which became known as one of the most violent military interventions in Turkey's history, claiming hundreds of lives.
His death came just two months after Turkey's seventh president and coup leader Kenan Evren passed away on May 9, aged 97. Evren was buried in the capital Ankara in a ceremony boycotted by both government and opposition politicians.
Şahinkaya, along with Evren, was sentenced to life imprisonment on June 18, 2014, for his role in the coup.
Other coup figures included Nurettin Ersin, former commander of Turkish Land Forces, who died in 2005 plus Nejat Tumer, the former commander of the Turkish Naval Forces who passed away in 2011.
Sedat Celasun, the former commander of the Turkish Gendarmerie Forces died in 1998.
The trial of Şahinkaya and Evren began in April 2012 with the prosecution claiming that the two had attempted to "eliminate" the Turkish constitution and override parliament; both generals were also demoted to the rank of private. The two generals had appealed their life sentences.
Turkey's 1980 coup followed years of unrest; three years of military rule saw hundreds of thousands imprisoned for political reasons, some dying from torture or poor conditions. Fifty people were executed.
In 1986, Şahinkaya appeared on the cover of Time magazine as one of the world's 50 richest generals.
It was claimed that his personal assets were worth around $20 billion, money he allegedly gained while purchasing F-16 fighter jets in 1986. Şahinkaya strenuously denied the claims.
Şahinkaya had two children.