Turkey is not new to a coup and has a long history of military coups since 1960. The trend dates back to the time of the foundation of Modern Turkey in 1923, which was founded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
The leader set sails for a modern Turkey and raised the flag for secularization and modernization of a primarily Islamic country. In fact, he banned certain apparel, including headscarves and converted the Turkish language from Arabic to Latin script.
Although the Turkish military saw itself as the guardians of Ataturk's secularist agenda for a long time, the time came in the second half of the 20th century when the military had to overtake the government several times when the former felt that the country was straying too far from modernist ideals.
Here's a list of all four Turkish Coupe:
May 27, 1960: 38 Turkish Military officers overthrow Prime Minister Adnan Menderes. He is executed and general Cemal Gursel assumes power. During this time, government had began opening to religion again. While thousands of mosques were opened and prayer calls in Arabic were encouraged. New schools for religious people were also opened.
In response to this, the military personnel launched a coup in May. The prime minister, president and few other cabinet ministers were arrested and tried for treason. The PM was executed after the military leaders convicted him of constitutional violation. A military-dominated reign lasted in the country lasted till 1965. Following this, when the reign was finally handed over to the people.
March 12, 1971: The Turkish Military intervenes after inflation reaches nearly 80%. The military gives a memorandum to Prime Minister Suleyman Damirel to step down. He resigns hours later. Unique in its own way, the military decided to deliver a "coup by memorandum" in the form of an ultimatum. Damirel was accused of driving the country to anarchy.
After Damirel put down his papers, the military asked a member of the right-wing secularist Republican People's Party to form a temporary government, which lasted till 1974 when the new president was elected by the parliament.
September 12, 1980: Military officers announce they are imposing Martial Law and dissolving the government. Turkish armed forces govern the country for three years. Kenan Evren is then appointed the President. Amind political instability in the 1970s with over 11 Prime Ministers taking over Turkey, the military intervened again. They announced that they were imposing martial law and taking over again.
The years that, however, followed were ridden with a politics of violence and torture where civilians were killed and leaders of the opposition tortured and missing. Finally, a new constitution was set and gained public approval through a referendum in 1982.
February 28, 1997: Military memorandum forces resignation of Islamist Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan who was appointed in the position in 1996. In fact, he was the first Islamist Prime Minister of the country. In a move to enact anti-religious measures, including a headscarf ban in universities, he was forced to resign. Following this, Mesut Yilmaz is appointed to form the new government.