Beloved politicians like John F. Kennedy, Benazir Bhutto, King Faisal, all assassinated
Many leaders have been assassinated for a variety of reasons, including US President John F. Kennedy, Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
Japan’s influential politician and former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe died from injuries sustained after being shot at an election campaign event.
It remains unclear whether Abe’s assassination was politically or religiously motived.
John F. Kennedy
The 35th President of the US, John F. Kennedy, was assassinated Nov. 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas.
Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin, was shot dead by Jack Ruby, a Dallas nightclub owner.
Despite the 59 years that have passed, Kennedy’s assassination is still the subject of widespread debate.
Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who was the king of Saudi Arabia from 1964 until his assassination on March 25, 1975, implemented a series of reforms in his country.
He enabled the establishment of televisions and the opening of schools for girls.
He played an important role in the oil embargo which caused the 1973 oil crisis.
Faisal, 68, was shot and killed by his 30-year-old nephew Prince Faisal bin Musaid bin Abdulaziz Al Saud at the Royal Palace in Riyadh.
President Park Chung-hee, who seized power in a 1961 military coup in South Korea, was shot dead in a restaurant by his friend Kim Jae Kyu, the chief of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency on Oct 26, 1979.
It is reported that since seizing control of South Korea, Chung-hee ruled with an iron fist. Kim claimed he killed the president to restore democracy in the country.
Mohamed Anwar Sadat
Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was assassinated in 1981 by members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad following his controversial signing of a peace treaty with Israel in 1979.
In 1970, Sadat came to power following the death of Abdel-Nasser.
Sadat was described by Egyptians as the maker of peace after he led the country during the 1973 war against Israel.
Indira Gandhi, India’s first and only female prime minister, is among the leaders who were assassinated.
Gandhi was shot dead by two of her Sikh bodyguards Oct 31, 1984, on the grounds that she had ordered a military raid on the Golden Temple, the holiest Sikh shrine.
The killing led to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, which killed thousands of Sikhs in India.
Olof Palme was a frequent critic of the US foreign policy, the Soviet Union, as well as the apartheid regime in South Africa.
Palme was shot in the back Feb. 28, 1986, after he left a Stockholm movie theater with his wife.
The case drew attention for, among other things, Swedish politicians going out in public without security.
After shooting Palme, the murderer ran off with the weapon. The case was a mystery although more than 10,000 people were questioned, and more than 130 claimed responsibility.
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated Nov. 4, 1995, for holding peace talks with Palestinians. He was killed by right-wing Israeli radical Yigal Amir.
The 1993 Oslo Accords that Rabin signed were intended to set the basis for peace talks.
Rabin’s role in the talks earned him the Nobel Peace Prize alongside Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
After Rabin’s assassination, the possibility of a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli issue became even more difficult.
The assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, known as the politician who rebuilt Lebanon, deeply affected the course of the country.
Hariri, who came to power in 1992 after the war and led the reconstruction to erase the traces of the war, as well as making serious contributions to the end of the 15-year civil war in the country, was assassinated Feb. 14, 2005, in Beirut.
Lebanon became polarized after the assassination and political uncertainties deeply affected the country.
The country, dominated by political instability, currently is experiencing one of the biggest economic crises in its history.
Benazir was killed in a terror attack soon after she addressed a rally in Rawalpindi’s historic Liaquat park in December 2007.
Bhutto was the first female head of the state elected in a Muslim majority country in 1988.
Bhutto, who was dismissed from her post, which she held for two years due to corruption allegations, became prime minister in 1993 for a second time.
Bhutto, who was taken from her post for a second time under similar allegations three years later, left Pakistan voluntarily in 1999 and did not return until 2007.
Riding a sympathy wave, her party won the 2008 elections, and her widower, Asif Zardari, and the party’s vice chairman, Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, became president and prime minister, respectively.
Haiti’s 53-year-old President Moise was killed July 7, 2021, in an attack on his home by gunmen. His wife was injured.
At least 40 people have been detained in connection with the assassination, which remains a mystery, but none have been formally charged.
Assassination attempts on Turkish politicians
Many political leaders in Türkiye also were subject to assassination attempts.
Assassination attempts were attempted by a Greek Cypriot against former Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, including one July 23, 1976, in the US.
Another attempt that Ecevit survived took place May 29, 1977, at the Cigli airport in Izmir.
Meanwhile, then-Prime Minister Turgut Ozal was attacked by Kartal Demirag during a speech at the congress of his party in Ankara on June 18, 1988.
Ozal, who was injured in his finger, finished his speech by taking the stage again after the attempt.