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Erdogan calls Cabinet meeting after ex-admirals challenge policy | national




Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday summoned his cabinet and senior officials for an unscheduled meeting, after a group of retired Navy admirals criticized the government’s stance on a key international convention in a decision that has was seen as a direct challenge to the authority of Erdogans.

Erdogans communications director Fahrettin Altun on Sunday accused the former admirals of insinuating the government should be toppled and said a prosecutor was starting an investigation into the incident. The cabinet will meet at 3 p.m. local time, followed by a meeting with the central executive committee of AK Power Parties at 6 p.m.

The group of former admirals said in a joint statement on Saturday that it was ill-advised government policy to question the future of the so-called Montreux Convention, saying the 1936 treaty was a guarantee of peace in the Black Sea, on the border of Turkey with Russia and Ukraine.

The admirals released their statement shortly after Speaker of Parliament Mustafa Sentop suggested that Erdogan had the power to withdraw from the treaty if he wanted to, although he then backed down, saying that ‘he was trying to assert the powers of presidents and not a particular political program. . His comments on the Montreux deal reignited a discussion over the Istanbul Canal, Erdogans’ multibillion-dollar plan to build a new strait across Istanbul to bypass the Bosphorus.

The declaration of the former admirals serves no other purpose than to damage democracy, motivation and morale of the Turkish armed forces, according to a statement from the Turkish Defense Ministry. We believe that the Turkish judicial system will take the necessary measures, the ministry said.

Critics of Erdogans argue that the canal would be an environmental disaster and make Turkey’s largest city unlivable. Opposition parties have also said the treaty will keep Turkey out of potential conflicts in the future. The convention limits deployments to the Black Sea to 21 days for non-coastal state ships and prohibits the passage of all aircraft carriers.

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