Inönü, Ismet [key], 1884–1973, Turkish statesman and soldier, president of Turkey (1938–50). He served in the Balkan Wars and World War I and became (1920) chief of staff to Mustafa Kemal, later known as Kemal Atatürk. He played an important part in the establishment of the Turkish republic and in Kemal's victory over the Greeks, and he represented Turkey at the Conference of Lausanne (see Lausanne, Treaty of, 1922–23). As prime minister (1923–24, 1925–37) he ably seconded the reforms of Atatürk, whom he succeeded (1938) as president of the republic. Inönü instituted free general elections for the first time in 1950; his party was defeated, and he was succeeded by Celal Bayar. After a military coup (1960; see Turkey) and the promulgation of a new constitution, Inönü's Republican People's party won a parliamentary plurality in the elections of 1961. He again became premier, heading successive coalition cabinets until 1965, when his government fell.
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