Adib Shishakli was born in the Hama Sanjak of Ottoman Syria to a Syrian family.
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Adib Shishakli's family name, Shishakli, is a common surname derived from Turkish word "cicek" which means flower and cicekli means someone or some place with flowers in Turkish.
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Adib Shishakli studied at the Military Academy of Damascus and became an early member of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, founded by Antun Saadeh, promoting the concept of a Greater Syria.
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Adib Shishakli's brother Salah was a prominent member of the SSNP.
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Adib Shishakli worked with Sami al-Hinnawi, the new de facto ruler of Syria who refused to assume power on his own and who, instead, restored Syria's parliamentary system.
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In December 1949, Adib Shishakli launched another coup, the third of that year, arresting Hinnawi to break Hashemite influence in Syria, but keeping Atassi at his post.
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Adib Shishakli then ordered the assassination of Colonel Mohammad Nasser, the Air Force Commander, because he threatened Shishakli's popularity in the Syrian Army.
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Adib Shishakli set the condition that any government had to include his right-hand-man, Fawzi Selu, as Minister for Defence, to curb Hashemite influence in the Syrian government.
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When Prime Minister Maarouf al-Dawalibi, a pro-Iraq politician from Aleppo, refused this demand, Adib Shishakli responded on 28 November 1951 by arresting Dawalibi and his entire cabinet.
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Adib Shishakli had arrested all pro-Iraq politicians in Syria, including the leaders of the People's Party, Nazim al-Kudsi and Rushdi al-Kikhya.
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Pleased to get rid of this stubborn nationalist, who rejected military intervention in political affairs, Adib Shishakli made his comrade Selu the Chief-of-Staff of the Army, the Prime Minister, the Minister for Defence, and the Head of State.
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Adib Shishakli then dissolved all political parties in a return to military rule.
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Adib Shishakli banned a number of newspapers and outlawed all newspapers that were not pro-Shishakli.
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Adib Shishakli banished the Baath leaders Akram al-Hawrani, Michel Aflaq, and Salah al-Bitar to Lebanon, where they then actively worked against his regime.
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Adib Shishakli was a skilled public speaker and relied greatly on radio to transmit his speeches to the Syrian population.
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Adib Shishakli's developed strong relations with King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia, his son, King Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and King Talal of Jordan.
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Shishakli greatly liked King Talal who said that he had no ambitions in Syria, unlike his father King Abdullah I Despite his pro-Western outlook and family background, Shishakli recognized the desires of Syria's Arab majority and accordingly adopted a policy of pan-Arabism.
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Adib Shishakli, although tempted by these offers of Western arms and money, did not take them.
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Adib Shishakli had arrested a lot of active officers in the Syrian Army, including the young Adnan al-Malki, a prominent Baathist.
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Adib Shishakli had responded by arresting Atassi and Atrash's sons, Adnan and Mansur.
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One of his grandsons, Adib Shishakli Ihsan Shishakly, is a member of the Syrian Opposition.
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