Turkey: Erdogan accuses retired admirals of hinting at ‘coup’

Turkish president slams former naval officers who warned his plans for a new Istanbul canal threaten a maritime treaty

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said a statement by former admirals warning that his plans for a new canal in Istanbul put the Montreux Convention maritime accord in jeopardy was hinting at a “political coup”, though he added he was committed to the pact.

Earlier on Monday, Turkish prosecutors detained 10 retired admirals and ordered four others to turn themselves in for signing the statement supporting the 85-year-old maritime accord governing the use of the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits on grounds they were conspiring against the constitutional order.

Officials said their declaration, signed by more than 100 former high-ranking navy personnel, was a direct challenge to civilian government and evoked past army interventions

The suspects were detained at their homes in Ankara, Istanbul and Kocaeli, and were to be questioned by the chief prosecutor’s office in the capital.

“The duty of retired admirals – 104 of whom come together – is not to publish declarations that hint at a political coup,” Erdogan said on Monday.

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