Istanbul (AP) — A group of retired Turkish admirals fired on Sunday after issuing a statement that government officials were linked to the history of Turkey’s military coup.
103 former naval officers have criticized Turkey’s proposal to withdraw from international treaties regulating shipping through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles, which connect the Mediterranean Sea with the Black Sea.
Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay compared the signatories of the statement to “cowards whistling in the graveyard.” Numan Kurturus, deputy leader of the Turkish ruling party, tweeted that they were “old Turkish enthusiasts looking at themselves beyond the will of the country.”
Senior member of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party said he could leave the 1936 Montreux Convention earlier in the week in discussions about building a ship canal in northern Istanbul that bypasses the Bosphorus. Raised.
“The withdrawal from the Montreux Convention was held as part of the talks on the Istanbul Canal, raising concerns about the authority to withdraw from the international treaty,” the retired Admiral said in a declaration released late Saturday.
“We believe that we should refrain from any kind of remarks or actions that lead to discussions on the Montreux Convention, which is important to Turkey’s survival,” the group said.
The ruling party and senior government officials have shown similarities to the statements associated with past military acquisitions in Turkey. The Chief Prosecutor of Ankara has begun investigating the Admiral’s Declaration.
Turkey experienced coups in 1960, 1971 and 1980, and the 1997 military intervention resigned the Islamist-led coalition government. In 2016, a failed coup killed more than 250 people.
“A statement from a group of pensioners reminiscent of the coup period just made them look ridiculous and pathetic,” Erdogan spokesman Ibrahim Karin tweeted.
“Tell them that our beloved country and its representatives will never forgive this spirit and enthusiasm for (military) leadership,” Karin said.
The Pentagon said in a statement that the military could not be used as “a means for the greed, ambition and personal purpose of those who have no obligation or responsibility.”