Turkish officials lambast ex-soldiers' 'declaration'
Ankara’s Chief Public Prosecutor on April 4 launched an investigation into a declaration released by 104 retired admirals over remarks made by Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop on the Montreux Convention.
The declaration has drawn strong reactions from the government and officials.
The Turkish Armed Forces cannot be used as a vehicle for ambitions of a person or persons who do not have any duties and responsibilities, the Defense Ministry said in a statement.
The declaration will “only negatively affect the morale and motivation of its staff and make the enemies happy,” said the ministry and emphasized that publishing such a declaration “will do nothing but harm our democracy.”
“We firmly believe that the independent Turkish judiciary will do what is necessary,” noted the statement.
Vice President Fuat Oktay called out the coup supporters who are “unwilling to accept” the will of the nation and who targeted democratic institutions.
Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın said the statement is “reminiscent of coup periods” and made the former soldiers “a laughingstock.”
“Know your place and stay where you are,” he added.
“These retirees, who’ve not been seen for years, are creating chaos with their agendas,” Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop said.
Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said the admirals should not use their ranks and uniforms as a means to push their political rhetoric.
Turkey’s Communications Director Fahrettin Altun underlined that the nation has the last word.
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli said, “The rank of admirals who signed the declaration prepared in the style of a memorandum and served at midnight should be removed. [Their] Pension rights should be abolished [and] pensions should be abolished.”
The declaration of the retired admirals from the Naval Forces slammed the government for paving the way for a debate on the possible withdrawal from the Montreux Convention.
“Otherwise, the Republic of Turkey might be able to encounter the most dangerous events, risks and threats, which are instances in history,” said the declaration.
The discussion started in late March, when Şentop elaborated on broadcaster HaberTürk on March 24 about Turkey’s decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention.
The journalist asked, “What if one day one president says ‘I withdrew from the European Convention on Human Rights, I do not recognize Montreux, I dissolved it?’”
“He can. Not only our president but Germany, the U.S., or France can do as well. But there is a difference between possible and probable,” Şentop answered on the program.
Şentop on March 30, reiterated that quitting from international treaties, such as Montreux Convention, is not on Turkey’s agenda.