Turkish navy admirals resign in protest of Balyoz verdict: Report

Turkish navy admirals resign in protest of Balyoz verdict: Report

Turkish admirals, Coast Guard Commander Vice Admiral Atilla Kezek, Coast Guard Commander Rear Admiral Sami Örgüç and five or six other high-ranking Turkish naval officers have reportedly resigned in protest of the verdict rendered in the “Balyoz” (Sledgehammer) case.

The verdict, which ruled the imprisonment of some 237 soldiers on charges of “plotting to overthrow the government”, led to the resignations right after the Supreme Court of Appeals approved the convictions of the 237 suspects in the “Balyoz” (Sledgehammer) coup plot trial on Oct 9, daily Cumhuriyet alleged.

In December 2012, Navy commander, Adm. Nusret Güner, had resigned in protest against the case.

Güner resigned after officers under his command, including seven commanders, four rear admirals, two vice admirals and numerous captains and lower-ranking soldiers were arrested. His chief of staff, Rear Adm. Kemalettin Gür, had resigned earlier in 2012.

Güner in November 2013 had claimed that the main target of the coup plot cases was the Naval Forces, rather than the Armed Forces.

“The target in cases like Ergenekon, Balyoz, and Poyrazköy was not the Turkish Armed Forces [TSK], but rather the Turkish Naval Forces. The rate of arrested officers is around 10 percent in the land and air forces, while it is 80 percent in the naval forces,” said Güner, following the Sept. 3 trial of the Poyrazköy coup plot case, in which 71 suspects, eight of which were under arrest, are now facing charges.