ISTANBUL (AP)-A group of retired Turkish admirals came under fire on Sunday for issuing a statement saying that government officials are closely linked to Turkey’s military coup history.
The former 103 naval officer criticized a proposal that Turkey could withdraw from international treaties regulating shipping through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles (which connects the Mediterranean to the Black Sea).
Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay compared the signatories of the statement with “the husband whistles in the cemetery.” Numan Kurtulus, the vice chairman of Turkey’s ruling party, tweeted that they are “ancient Of Turkish enthusiasts believe that they are higher than the will of the country.”
Earlier this week, during discussions about the construction of a transportation canal that bypassed the Bosphorus north of Istanbul, the possibility of withdrawing from the 1936 Montreux Convention was raised.
The retired admiral said in a statement late Saturday: “The fact of withdrawing from the Montreux Convention has been publicly debated. This is part of the negotiations on the Istanbul Canal, and the right to withdraw from international treaties is worrying.”
The organization said: “We believe that we should avoid all kinds of speech and actions that lead to discussions on the Montreux Convention, because the Montreux Convention occupies an important place in Turkey’s survival.”
The statements accompanying the ruling party and government officials with past military acquisitions in Turkey are similar. The chief prosecutor of Ankara investigated the admiral’s statement.
Turkey underwent coups in 1960, 1971 and 1980, and military intervention in 1997 led to the resignation of the Islamist-led coalition government. In 2016, the failed coup resulted in the deaths of more than 250 people.
Erdogan’s spokesperson, Ibrahim Kalin, said on Twitter: “The statement of a group of retired soldiers evokes the coup period and only makes them seem absurd and pathetic.”
Carlin said: “Let them know that our beloved country and its representatives will never develop this mentality and enthusiasm for (military) guardianship.”
The Ministry of Defense said in a statement that the armed forces cannot be used as “a tool for the greed, ambition and personal goals of people who do not bear any responsibility.”