Adnan Menderes is the only Turkish prime minister to have been hanged by the generals. Others have been arrested (Süleyman Demirel in 1980), forced out of office (Necmettin Erbakan in 1997) or politely warned about a possible intervention (Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2007). Menderes, Turkey’s first democratically elected premier, governed from 1950 until the military coup ten years later. He was executed on 17 September 1961.
The London Review of Books Blog, July 25, 2013
Journalists have compared Yassıada to Robben Island. Some years ago the liberal Turkish NGO Young Civilians proposed building a ‘museum of democracy’ on it. But Erdoğan has other, more ambitious plans: a ‘Democracy Lighthouse’, an ‘Eternity Quay’, a hotel, four cafés, bungalows, a library, a conference hall, restaurants, a jetty. Yassıada will then be renamed the ‘Island of Democracy’.
The plans didn’t go down well with environmentalists, who staged a protest on the island last weekend. They have also upset Menderes’s relatives. His daughter-in-law said her family would be offended if Yassıada was opened for tourism. Another relative said a more appropriate name for Yassıada would be the ‘Island of Sadness’.