Ten Turkish ex-admirals to remain in police custody

Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s office is asking for an extension of four days to the detention of 10 retired admirals from the Turkish navy, who are held responsible for Saturday’s declaration denouncing the government.

A total of 103 retired navy admirals issued a declaration last Saturday, against discussions on whether Turkey would leave 1936’s Montreux Convention that concerns control of the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits, and the possible Islamisation of the army over a photograph of an active-duty rear admiral posed for together with the leader of an Islamic cult.

Ten among the signatories were arrested on Monday for having organised the writing of the declaration and for organising others to sign.

Due to the advanced age of the admirals, their initial statements still haven’t been completed, lawyer Celal Ülgen told newspaper BirGün.

Top government officials have responded harshly to the declaration, saying it was akin to coup plotting.

“This declaration was penned with purely patriotic sentiments, and points to risks our country may experience in two areas,” Ülgen said. “Finding a call for military coup in there is at the very least lacking Turkish comprehension.”

The admirals are facing an investigation over allegedly conspiring to commit crimes against the constitutional order and the security of the state.