Ankara: Ten former naval officials have been arrested in Turkey over suspicion of involvement in a coup against President Recep Erdogan. More than 100 former naval officials had issued a statement opposing the plan of President Erdogan. The former naval officials have been arrested, blaming that this statement is a threat to national security and the constitution. A failed coup attempt had been made against President Erdogan in 2016.
President Erdogan is planning an ambitious project, the Istanbul Canal, connecting the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara. If this project is completed, the importance of the Bosphorus Strait connecting the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara will decrease. On that basis, Turkey can exit from the Treaty of Montreux signed in 1936. It is believed that this could increase the tension between Turkey and the western countries.
Against this background, 100 former naval officials issued an independent statement on Saturday evening. The report notes that exiting from the Treaty of Montreux is a cause for major concern. The concerned officials also said that the discussions started for Turkey’s exit from this and other international agreements are not in Turkish interest. Severe reactions have been received from the Turkish government over the statement.
The charge sheet prepared against these officials and the arrest of ten officers is being considered to be a part of the same reaction. The mention of crimes against national security and the constitution in the charge sheet is considered to be very serious. This development has created a sensation as these are mentioned only during action against a coup or treason. Some Turkish officials and media have termed this statement issued by the former officials as a coup attempt against the government.
In the past, governments have been overthrown in Turkey in 1960, 1971, 1980 and 1997 through military coups. There has been a failed coup against the Erdogan government in 2016. More than 250 people had been killed in the coup attempt. After that, President Erdogan had taken action against thousands of military officials.