Turkey accused 14 retired admirals of plotting to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and arrested some of them on Monday.
The 14 have been named as the leaders behind a statement released by 100 retired admirals over the weekend that criticized the Islamist-born government’s stance on a key international maritime treaty and called on the military to protect its secular values.
The government interpreted this statement as a direct challenge to Erdogan’s authority. He is questioning the 14 suspected of collaborating to commit a crime against state security and constitutional order, prosecutors said in a statement.
Ten were detained while four, older ones, were ordered to go to a police station for questioning within three days.
Erdogan summons Cabinet after policy of challenging ex-admirals
Erdogan will meet with civilian and military leaders to discuss the incident later Monday.
The Turkish leader has significantly reduced the powers of the military, especially after a failed coup attempt in 2016 by elements of the military accused of links to a US-based cleric. His administration and some opposition leaders described the statement as an attempt to restore military rule to the country.
The Turkish military has toppled the government three times since 1960, lobbied the country’s first government of Islamic origin in 1997, and threatened to interfere with a contested presidential election in 2007.
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