Turkish authorities detained 10 former admirals over suspicions that they had reached “an agreement with the aim of committing a crime against the security of the state and the constitutional order.”
Turkey’s Director of Communications Fahrettin Altun has criticised a declaration made by retired admirals on the country’s political matters.
On late Friday, 104 retired admirals from the Naval Forces issued a declaration on the government’s policy towards the 1936 Montreux Straits Convention.
Speaking to local media on Monday, Altun said “we all know perfectly well what this antidemocratic memorandum insinuates.”
“That memorandum has no meaning, except to wave one’s finger at the nation’s will and its elected representatives, as a leftover habit of the old guardianship regime. “
Altun said Turkey does not view the memorandum as innocent.
“The same people, who downplayed the July 15 coup attempt as ‘theatre’, now portray this attempt by 104 people, who issued a scandalous memorandum, to create a framework for tutelage, as a grievance,” he said.
10 retired admirals detained
Turkish authorities detained 10 retired admirals as part of an investigation, launched by the chief prosecutor in Ankara, over suspicions that they had reached “an agreement with the aim of committing a crime against the security of the state and the constitutional order,” Anadolu Agency reported.
Four others were not detained because of their advanced ages, but they were asked to report to authorities within three days, AA reported.
It’s being reported that the declaration had hinted towards another coup attempt in the country.
Turkey had survived an attempted coup on July 15, 2016.
There’s been heated debate in the country regarding the revision of the 1936 Montreux Straits Convention, control over Straits in Istanbul, and the government’s recently approved plans for a new 45-km-long canal project.
On Sunday, Altun had said these retired admirals were living “in the old Turkey” and told them to remain seated and not be involved in the country’s political matters as they were retired and should remain so.
Turkey’s Defence Ministry issued a statement saying, “publishing such a declaration will do nothing but harm our democracy.”
It added that the country’s armed forces cannot be used as a vehicle for the personal ambitions of a person or people who do not have any duties and responsibilities.
Turkish Parliament Speaker Mustafa Sentop also reacted to the declaration and said, “These retirees, who’ve not been seen for years, are creating chaos with their own agendas.”
The country’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said government will always remember those who are loyal to democracy.
He said the admirals should not use their rank and uniform as a means to push their own political rhetoric.