26 Facts About Adib Shishakli


Adib Shishakli was born in the Hama Sanjak of Ottoman Syria to a Syrian family.


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.


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.


Adib Shishakli's brother Salah was a prominent member of the SSNP.


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.


Atassi wanted to create a union with Hashemite Iraq, something which Adib Shishakli greatly opposed, claiming that Hinnawi was the driving force behind pro-Hashemite sentiment in Syria.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Adib Shishakli then dissolved all political parties in a return to military rule.


Adib Shishakli banned a number of newspapers and outlawed all newspapers that were not pro-Shishakli.


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.


Adib Shishakli was a skilled public speaker and relied greatly on radio to transmit his speeches to the Syrian population.


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.


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.


Adib Shishakli clashed frequently with the independent-minded Druze minority on the Jabal al-Druze mountain range, accusing them of wanting to topple his regime using funds from Jordan.


Adib Shishakli, although tempted by these offers of Western arms and money, did not take them.


Adib Shishakli had arrested a lot of active officers in the Syrian Army, including the young Adnan al-Malki, a prominent Baathist.


The largest anti-Adib Shishakli conference had been held in Atassi's home in Homs.


Adib Shishakli had responded by arresting Atassi and Atrash's sons, Adnan and Mansur.


Adib Shishakli fled to Lebanon, but when the Druze leader Kamal Jumblat threatened to have him killed, he fled to Brazil.


The coup was foiled by Syrian intelligence and Adib Shishakli was sentenced to death in absentia.

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One of his grandsons, Adib Shishakli Ihsan Shishakly, is a member of the Syrian Opposition.