Execution of Erdal Eren

Erdal Eren was left-wing militant executed by hanging in the aftermath of the Military coup in September 1980 in Turkey. Erdal Eren was born on the 25 September 1961 or March 1962[1][2][3][4] in Şebinkarahisar, Giresun. His death sparked outrage in the Turkish society, as he was 17 years old at the time of his execution according to his lawyer. However, his father wrote in his letter to Kenan Evren that during the event Zekeriya Önge was killed, Eren was 18 years and 4 months old.[2] Though, the issue of his age was not important to the trial itself. It was later brought up in an appeal statement after the death penalty sentence had already been decided by the court.[5] Eren was a student at a vocational high school in Ankara and a member of the Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Association.[6][7] He was also a member of the Hoxhaist Revolutionary Communist Party of Turkey.[8]

He was arrested on the 2 February 1980 during a protest against the murder of Sinan Suner, who had been killed by a member of the security detail of Cengiz Gökçek [tr] from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).[7] During the protest, Eren fled a confrontation with the police, but was later caught. The officer who caught him, Zekeriya Önge [tr], was shot a few moments later[9] and Eren was prosecuted and sentenced to death for the murder on the 19 March.[10] During trial Eren denied having killed Önge[7] and witnesses testified that the police officer was shot from behind and from some distance by a third party.[9] However, in an interview with Savaş Ay shortly before he was executed Eren claimed to have shot Önge and assumed Önge was killed by his as well as another soldier's shot.[10][11] Eren was hanged on the 13 December 1980 in Ulucanlar prison[12] and buried in Karşıyaka cemetery.[13] The coup leader, Kenan Evren, claimed that Eren was a terrorist and had murdered Önge by shooting him from behind.[14][15][16]


Every year mourners would hold meetings in his memory at his grave[14] and several artists dedicated their art and songs to his memory. Ahmet Kaya, Grup Yorum, Sezen Aksu and Teoman have recorded songs dedicated to Eren.[17] In June 2015, the municipal assembly of Aydın decided to change the name of the Kenan Evren street in the Kuşadası district into Erdal Eren street.[18]


  1. ^ "Evren bu zalimliği yaptı mı?". www.sozcu.com.tr. Retrieved 2021-03-02.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ a b "Erdal Eren'in babasının Kenan Evren'e mektubu - Vikikaynak". tr.wikisource.org. Archived from the original on 27 September 2021. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  3. ^ Benli, Mesut (2007). "Erdal Eren'in ailesi devletten özür bekliyor". Radikal. Archived from the original on 26 Aug 2018.
  4. ^ "Mücadele sürdükçe Erdallar yaşayacak - Evrensel.net". web.archive.org. 2016-09-26. Retrieved 2023-03-08.
  5. ^ "Evren, bu zalimliği yaptı mı? – Sözcü Gazetesi". web.archive.org. 2015-05-13. Retrieved 2023-03-08.
  6. ^ "Erdal Eren 35 Yıldır 17 Yaşında". Bianet – Bagimsiz Iletisim Agi. Retrieved 2021-03-02.
  7. ^ a b c "Erdal Eren kimdir? 17 yaşında idam edilen Erdal Eren 37. yıl dönümünde anılıyor!". www.sozcu.com.tr. 13 December 2017. Retrieved 2021-03-02.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ "Mücadele sürdükçe Erdallar yaşayacak - Evrensel.net". web.archive.org. 2016-09-26. Retrieved 2023-03-08.
  9. ^ a b "Condemned on "evidence" extracted under torture" (PDF). Amnesty International. February 1990. p. 6. Retrieved 2 March 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ a b "Erdal Eren kimdir?". www.haberturk.com (in Turkish). 12 September 2020. Retrieved 2021-03-02.
  11. ^ "Beni infaz edecekler ibret-i âlem için infaz edecekler". Archived from the original on 2020-11-07.
  12. ^ "Erdal Eren anılıyor (Erdal Eren kimdir?)". www.ntv.com.tr (in Turkish). Retrieved 2021-03-02.
  13. ^ "Erdal Eren mezarı başında anıldı". www.gazeteduvar.com.tr (in Turkish). 2017-12-13. Retrieved 2021-03-02.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. ^ a b Gazetesi, Evrensel. "Turkey's Labour Youth representative: The youth needs determined communists like Erdal Eren". Evrensel.net. Retrieved 2021-03-02.
  15. ^ "Turkey's trial of Evren and Sahinkaya is historic moment". BBC News. 2012-04-04. Retrieved 2021-03-02.
  16. ^ Butler, Daren. "Turkish coup victims call General Evren to account". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2021-03-02.
  17. ^ "Erdal Eren için bestelenen 10 şarkı". Press Haber (in Turkish). 2015-06-30. Retrieved 2021-03-02.
  18. ^ "Street in western Turkey given name of executed minor - Turkey News". Hürriyet. June 2015. Retrieved 2021-12-17.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)