Sunay, Cevdet(jĕvdĕt` so͞onī`), 1900–1973, Turkish political leader and army officer, president of Turkey (1966–73). Educated at military schools, he served in World War I and the subsequent nationalist revolt. Rising through the ranks to become a full general in 1959, he held important military posts, was made commander in chief of the land forces in 1960, and then chief of staff. In 1966 he succeeded the ailing Cemal Gürsel as president of Turkey. He maintained his office despite increasing terrorist activity, student riots, and threatened coups. When his term expired in 1973 he was made a permanent senator.
Born Feb. 10, 1900, in Trabzon. Turkish military and state figure; army general (1959).
Sunay graduated from a military high school in 1917 and a military academy in 1930. He fought in the war of national liberation of 1919–22. Between 1950 and 1960 he served on the General Staff as deputy chief of operations, chief of operations, and deputy chief of staff. After the coup d’etat of May 27, 1960, he became commander of land forces and later chief of the General Staff. From March 1966 to early April 1973 he was president of the Republic of Turkey.