Cevdet Sunay

Cevdet Sunay
Turkse chef Generale staf (Generaal Sunay), Bestanddeelnr 916-7534.jpg
5th President of Turkey
In office
28 March 1966 – 28 March 1973
Prime Minister Süleyman Demirel
Nihat Erim
Ferit Melen
Preceded by Cemal Gürsel
Succeeded by Fahri Korutürk
Chief of the General Staff of Turkey
In office
4 August 1960 – 16 March 1966
Preceded by Ragıp Gümüşpala
Succeeded by Cemal Tural
Commander of the Turkish Army
In office
3 June 1960 – 2 August 1960
Preceded by Cemal Gürsel
Succeeded by Mehmet Muzaffer Alankuş
Personal details
Born 10 February 1899
Çaykara, Trabzon Vilayet, Ottoman Empire
Died 22 May 1982(1982-05-22) (aged 83)
Istanbul, Turkey
Resting place Turkish State Cemetery
Nationality Turkish
Political party Independent
Spouse(s) Atıfet Sunay
Children 3
Military service
Allegiance  Ottoman Empire
Branch/service  Ottoman Army
 Turkish Land Forces
Rank General
Battles/wars World War I Turkish War of Independence

Cevdet Sunay (Turkish: [ˈdʒevdet ˈsunaj]; 10 February 1899 – 22 May 1982) was a Turkish politician and army officer, who served as the fifth President of Turkey from 1966 to 1973.

Early life and career

Sunay was born in 1899 in Trabzon, in the Ottoman Empire. After attending elementary school and middle school in Erzurum and Edirne, he graduated from Kuleli Military High School in Istanbul. During World War I, he fought in 1917 at the Palestine front and became a prisoner of war of the British in Egypt in 1918. After his release, he fought first on the southern front, then on the western front during the Turkish War of Independence.

Sunay completed his military education in 1927, and graduated from the staff college in 1930 as a staff officer. Rising through the ranks to become a general in 1949 and then a four-star general in 1959, he held important military posts. In 1960, he was appointed army chief and later joint chief of staff. On 14 March 1966, he was appointed to the senate by Cemal Gürsel under his presidential contingency.

When Gürsel's presidency was terminated due to ill health in accordance with the constitution, Cevdet Sunay was elected 5th president by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey on 28 March 1966. He maintained his office despite increasing terrorist activity, student riots, and threatened coups. He served the constitutional term of seven years until 28 March 1973 and became then a permanent senator.

He was married to Atıfet in 1929.[1] They had three children.[2]


Cevdet Sunay was elected as the fifth president by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey on 28 March 1966. His presidential service continued until 28 March 1973 he had to go through some tough times. During 1961 and 1965 Süleyman Demirel, Nihat Erim and Ferit Melen where the most prominent members in Sunay’s administration. Cevdet Sunay resigned as president due to deteriorating health conditions.


Cevdet Sunay died of a heart attack on 22 May 1982 in Istanbul. His body was moved in August 1988 to a permanent burial place in the newly built Turkish State Cemetery in Ankara.


National honours
  • Turkey : Recipient of the Medal of Independence with Red Ribbon.
Foreign honours


  1. ^ "Çankaya'nın First Lady'leri". Hürriyet (in Turkish). 15 April 2007. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  2. ^ "Sunay'ın eşi vefat etti". Radikal (in Turkish). 22 October 2002. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  3. ^ Badraie Archived March 5, 2016, at the Wayback Machine

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Cemal Gürsel
Commander of the Turkish Army
Succeeded by
Mehmet Muzaffer Alankuş
Preceded by
Ragıp Gümüşpala
Chief of the General Staff of Turkey
Succeeded by
Cemal Tural
Political offices
Preceded by
Cemal Gürsel
President of Turkey
Succeeded by
Fahri Korutürk