Prosecutor seeks jail time for 103 ex-admirals

Prosecutor seeks jail time for 103 ex-admirals

Prosecutor seeks jail time for 103 ex-admirals

A Turkish prosecutor has drafted an indictment seeking up to 12 years in prison for each of the 103 retired admirals who issued a controversial statement in April to support the 1936 Montreux Convention.

“The investigation, known as the ‘statement of admirals,’ has been completed and the indictment has been sent to the Ankara 20th High Criminal Court,” said in a press release by the prosecutor’s office.

The release noted that the retired admirals were charged for committing the crime against state security and the constitutional order.

Digital materials belonging to some of the suspects were examined and added to the indictment, the release said.

“It has been detected that they [admirals] aim to act outside the chain of command within the Turkish Armed Forces in order to partially or completely prevent the government from performing its duties,” according to the indictment.

The government’s approval of plans in March to develop a shipping canal in Istanbul comparable to the Panama Canal has opened up a debate about Turkey’s commitment to the Montreux Convention.

The pact is aimed at demilitarizing the Black Sea by setting strict commercial and naval rules on passage through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits leading to the Mediterranean.

In their letter, 103 retired military personnel had voiced concern over the existing treaty, which they said “best protects Turkish interests,” but it drew strong condemnation from the government.

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