Celal Bayar

Cumhurbaşkanı, Başbakan, Bakan, Milletvekili, Devlet Adamı, Siyasetçi

16 Mayıs, 1883
22 Ağustos, 1986
Collège Français de l’Assomption
Diğer İsimler
Mahmut Celal Bayar

Third President of Turkish Republic. (B. 16 May 1883, Umurbey Village / Gemlik / Bursa – D. 22 August 1986, Istanbul). His full name is Mahmut Celal Bayar. Before his presidency he was a parliament member from Manisa, a minister and prime minister. He used the pen names Galip Hoca, Reşad-ı Sani, Müdür and Müftü in his writings and during the years of the Independence War. He comes from a family which migrated to Bursa region from Plevne during the 1877- 78 Ottoman Russian War (93 War). His father belonged to the class of scholars (The class consisting of jurists, academic members and religious scholars in the Ottoman Empire). His name was Abdullah Efendi and he was a fiqh (Islamic law) scholar who worked as a secondary school director in Umurbey and a mufti in Gemlik. His mother’s name is Emine Hanım.

Celâl Bayar completed his first and secondary education beside his father in Umurbey. He started to work in Gemlik Reji (Regie) Office. Later he worked for clerk’s office in Gemlik. Then he went to Bursa and took office in Ziraat Bank. Meanwhile he continued schools called Harir Darüttalimi and Collège Français de l’Assomption. After proceeding his works in Bursa within Deutsche Orientbank  he worked in İttihad-ı Milli bank. Meanwhile he married İnegöllü Refet Bey’s daughter Reşide Hanım. He had three children from this marriage Refii, Turgut and Nilüfer (Gürsoy).

Mahmut Celâl (Bayar) started to be interested in politics under influence and guidance of his uncle Mustafa Şevket. He joined in 1907 the Party of Union and Progress upon his interest in them. After the declaration of the 2nd Constitutional Period (1908) he started to take active duties in this party. He became the president of first Bursa, then Izmir branches. While he was in Izmir the 1st World War launched. During the war he established the Society Towards People. He started to publish this society’s press organ Towards People magazine starting from the 1st of February 1919. He wrote articles in this magazine using the pen name Turgut Alp.

Mahmut Celâl Bey entered the Ottoman Parliament which gathered on the 12th of January 1920 for the last time as parliament member from Saruhan Sancağı (Manisa). After the closure of this parliament he participated to works of organizing people against the Greek invasion and making people resist the invasion. With this purpose he passed to Ödemiş from Izmir. Wearing the clothes of an Islamic scholar and using the name “Galip Hoca” he walked among people, visited various settlements. In the congress of 28 June 1919 in Balıkesir he was appointed “Commander of National Legion”. Upon the invasion of Istanbul and dismissal of the Parliament he entered the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in Ankara again as a parliament member from Saruhan. Meanwhile he was selected to the council which was founded in order to realize negotiations between the Assembly and Çerkez Ethem and negotiated with Çerkez Ethem. He was among the founders of Turkish Communist Party which was established upon the will of Mustafa Kemal. He worked actively in the Assembly and was assigned to the Ministry of Economics on the 27th of February 1921 for about one year. For a while he replaced the Foreign Minister.

After the start of the National Struggle he made important services in Western Anatolia to win this struggle. After the victory of the Independence War he joined Lausanne Peace Conference as a council. In the elections done in 1923 he became a candidate of Anadolu and Rumeli Countrywide Resistance Organization and entered the 2nd Grand National Assembly as a parliament member from Izmir.   

Bayar who distinguished as a struggler, politician and economist during the foundation of Turkish Republic, used the gold sent by Indian Muslims to Turkish Independence War and founded Türkiye İş Bank upon the order of Mustafa Kemal in 1924. He became the first General Director of this bank and continued this duty until 1932. Between 1932 and 37 he was again appointed as Deputy of Economy.

Bayar was assigned to the Prime Ministry by the end of 1937 replacing İsmet İnönü. Although he resigned from this duty for a period, he was reassigned and continued it until the 25th of January 1939. During the 2nd World War which started in the same year he did not participate to any important work. During the budget discussions of 1945 he was part of the opposition. Bayar, Fuat Köprülü, Adnan Menderes and Refik Koraltan submitted a statement known as “Dörtlü Takrir (T.N. Statement by Four People)” on the 7th of June 1945 to the Assembly and asked for some amendments in CHP’s charter. Their proposal was refused; when his friends Menderes and Köprülü were expelled from the party, Bayar resigned from Parliament Membership and then from CHP. On the 7th of January 1946 Bayar, Menderes, Köprülü and Koraltan founded Democrat Party (DP). Bayar was appointed Party Leader.

Celâl Bayar not only contributed to democratization and liberalization movements by founding DP, but also supported CHP’s ideas during the legalization of the 163rd article of the Turkish Penal Code (10 June 1949) concerning limiting people’s freedom of religion and conscience. He worked hard to convince the Prime Minister of CHP Şemsettin Günaltay about the “existence of reaction danger in the country”. After the Party Leader of DP Celâl Bayar said in 1948 “We will not create a period of prior crimes” (i.e. we will not call people of impropriety and corruption to account) in order to make İsmet İnönü, the National Chief, allow democratic elections, some member of DP resigned from their party.  These people founded the Millet Party under the leadership of Marshall Fevzi Çakmak and together with Osman Bölükbaşı on the 19th of July 1948. After the victory of DP in the elections of 14 May 1950 by overtaking 408 chairs out of 487 in the parliament, Celal Bayar was appointed as the 3rd President of Turkish Republic on the 22nd of May 1950 with 384 votes by the Grand National Assembly.

Bayar has passed to history being a prominent person for our history of republic. He was also a political equilibrant during the rule of Atatürk, helping him.

Celâl Bayar closely followed the developments occurring in the world after the 2nd World War. He made great contributions to international problems such as sending troops to Korea by Turkey, joining NATO, and establishment of Baghdad Pact. Besides he led the way to establish a “Trio-Pact” between Turkey, Greece and Yugoslavia. On the other hand he played an impressive role about bringing foreign capital to the country and taking a Western-oriented policy in foreign affairs. He made efforts actively to launch the Law for Protecting Atatürk in 1951.

Bayar who is the first civilian President of Turkish Republic served ten years in this position and was discharged after a military coup on the 27th of May 1960. He was put onto trial in a special court (Yassıada Court) founded by the group which realized the coup. He was condemned to execution because of his actions during the DP government (15 Eylül 1961). However the penalty of execution was turned into life imprisonment due to his old age. He was transferred to Kayseri Regional Prison from Yassıada and was released on the 7th of November 1964 due to his sickness. His penalty was removed on the 7th of July 1966 by the current President of the Republic Cevdet Sunay basing on the preambles written in the 97th article of the constitution.

 Celal Bayar lived in a century of great unsteadiness including the periods of Abdülhamit II, Constitutional Period, Balkan Wars, 2nd World War, Independence War, Declaration of the Republic and One-Party-Period, Transition to Multi-Party Period and military coup of 27 May 1960. He was one of the persons who contributed to the transition to multi-party-system. Finally he passed to history being a President of the Republic who was discharged with a coup and condemned to execution.

Bayar after being set free, founded a club called “Bizim Ev (T.N.Our Home)” and struggled to remove political bans .He supported the Demokratik Party founded by parliament members and senators who left in 1973 Adalet  Party (AP) and under the leadership of Ferruh Bozbeyli. He supported works to transfer people from AP to this party. However after a large group from Demokratik Party passed to AP, he started to support AP in 1975. He made speeches with the leader of AP Süleyman Demirel during election rallies.

Bayar in his memories titled “Ben de Yazdım” (1965-72) he wrote basing on documents, explained the last years of the Ottoman Empire and the first years of Turkish Republic. On the 22nd of August 1986 he passed away in Istanbul at the age of 103 and was inhumed in his homeland Bursa-Umurbey. The house he was born in was restored with contributions of Kazım Taşkent, founder and General Director of Yapı Kredi Bank. A university was founded with the name “Celal Bayar University” in Manisa.


Celâl Bayar’ın Söylev ve Demeçleri: 1921-1938 (1939), Celâl Bayar Diyor ki: 1920-1950 (Ed. Nazmi Sevgen, 1951), Atatürk’ten Hatıralar (1955), Celâl Bayar’ın Söylev ve Demeçleri: 1933-1935 (4 volumes, Ed.: Özel Şahingiray, 1956), Atatürk Metodolojisi ve Günümüz (1969), Ben de Yazdım (8 volumes, 1965-72), Başvekilim Adnan Menderes (Ed.: İsmet Bozdağ, 1986), Kayseri Cezaevi Günlüğü (1999), Atatürk Gibi Düşünmek (1999).


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