Even after 39 years, the bloody Sept. 12, 1980 military coup stands out as a black stain in Turkish history. The last military coup carried out through the chain of command in the history of the Republic of Turkey is infamous for its executions, assaults, and human rights violations. In the early hours of Sept. 12, the coup plotters seized power in the country, in the third blatant intervention by the armed forces in Turkey's history, following the May 27, 1960 coup and March 12, 1971 memorandum. The National Security Council, consisting of then-Chief of General Staff Kenan Evren -- who led the coup, and later was president -- the commanders of the Turkish land, air and naval forces, and the commander of the gendarmerie forces, took control of all the levers of power. Flouting democracy, the putschists annulled the country's Constitution and dissolved the parliament. After declaring martial law, they targeted non-governmental organizations and halted the activities of many, aside from the Turkish Aviation Association, Children's Protection Society, and Turkish Red Crescent. Also closing the country's political parties, the plotters carried out a series of executions that still haunt the nation's conscience.