Fatin Rüştü Zorlu

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Fatin Rüştü Zorlu
Fatin Rüştü Zorlu in 1959
Turkish Foreign Minister
In office
25 November 1957 – 27 May 1960
Preceded byMehmet Fuat Köprülü
Succeeded bySelim Sarper
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister
In office
17 May 1954 – 29 July 1955
Preceded bySamet Ağaoğlu
Succeeded byMehmet Fuat Köprülü
Personal details
Born(1910-04-20)20 April 1910
Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
Died16 September 1961(1961-09-16) (aged 51)
Yassıada, Turkey
Cause of deathExecution by hanging

Fatin Rüştü Zorlu (20 April 1910 – 16 September 1961) was a Turkish diplomat and politician. He was executed by hanging after the coup d'état in 1960 along with two other politicians.


He was born on 20 April 1910 in Istanbul to a family originating from the village of Zor, Artvin in northeastern Turkey. After finishing high school at Galatasaray High School, Zorlu was educated in political science at the Institut d'études politiques de Paris, France and in Law at the University of Geneva, Switzerland.

Political career[edit]

Returning to Turkey, Zorlu began his career as a diplomat in 1932 in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From 1938 on, he served at various posts in embassies and consulates in Bern (Switzerland), Paris (France), Moscow (USSR), Beirut (Lebanon) and at the ministry in Ankara as well. Following Turkey’s joining of NATO on 18 February 1952 he was appointed ambassador to NATO at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Paris.

In 1954, Zorlu entered politics and was elected into the Turkish Grand National Assembly as the deputy of Çanakkale for the Democratic Party. He served as Deputy Prime Minister between 1954 and 1955, as Minister of State in 1955 and Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1957 until the Turkish Armed Forces staged a coup on 27 May 1960 and ousted the government of Prime Minister Adnan Menderes. In 1959 he participated along with Adnan Menderes in the Bilderberg meeting in Yesilkoy, Turkey. It is rumoured that the coup might have something to do with that meeting.

He was arrested along with some other party members, charged with violating the constitution, and put on trial on the island of Yassıada. The 1961 Yassıada trials after the 1960 coup d'état accused Menderes and Foreign Minister Zorlu of planning the Istanbul Pogrom. Though both of them rejected the claims, it is believed by scholars that Menderes assented to the organization of protests in İstanbul against the Greeks, but the extent of knowledge of Zorlu, who had been in London for the conference, is unclear. According to Zorlu's lawyer at the Yassiada trial, a mob of 300,000 was marshaled in a radius of 40 miles (60 km) around the city for the attacks.[1]

He was sentenced to death and executed by hanging on the island of İmralı on 16 September 1961 along with Adnan Menderes and Hasan Polatkan. He approached the death penalty calm, helped the hangman to lay the noose around his neck.[2] Many years after his death his grave was moved to a mausoleum in İstanbul on 17 September 1990 along with the graves of the two other cabinet members hanged.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Speros Vryonis (1 January 2005). The Mechanism of Catastrophe: The Turkish Pogrom of September 6-7, 1955, and the Destruction of the Greek Community of Istanbul. greekworks.com. p. 225. ISBN 978-0-9747660-3-4. .
  2. ^ Hudgins, Graven (18 September 1960). "Turks hang ex-Premier Menderes". The Atlanta Constitution. p. 3.
Political offices
Preceded by Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey
17 May 1954–9 December 1955
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey
25 November 1957–27 May 1960
Succeeded by