Mahmud Celal Bayar

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Bayar, Mahmud Celal


Born May 15, 1884, in Umur-bey, Bursa vilayet. Turkish statesman. Active participant in the Kemalist revolution. He has occupied various governmental posts since 1920. Bayar was general director of the Commercial Bank during 1924–32, minister of national economy during 1932–37, and prime minister during 1937–39. In 1939 he joined the opposition to the governing Republican People’s Party; he participated in founding the Democratic Party (DP) in 1946 and was elected its chairman. After the DP’s victory in the May 1950 parliamentary elections, Bayar became president of the Turkish Republic. Together with Prime Minister A. Menderes and other DP leaders, Bayar was arrested during the May 27, 1960, army coup d’etat, tried, and sentenced to death in September 1961. His sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. In 1964 he was released from incarceration for reasons of health. His political rights were restored in 1969.