Ten retired admirals in Turkey released following arrest

Police arrest

Ten retired admirals in Turkey have been released about a week after they were arrested for making a statement about an international shipping agreement.

The court in Ankara imposed travel restrictions on the 10 as well as on four other former marines, the state news agency Anadolu reported on Tuesday. According to the report, the suspects are also not allowed to leave their provinces.

A total of 104 ex-admirals had published a statement about a week ago warning, among other things, against Turkey withdrawing from the Montreux Convention.

The 1936 pact regulates passage through the Bosporus and the Dardanelles, the straits between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean.

In the statement, the retired admirals also warned that the Turkish armed forces must uphold the principles of the constitution, which include secularism.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had accused the former soldiers of hinting at a coup in the statement. Investigations were launched against the signatories for offences against the security of the state and the constitutional order.

The discussion about a possible withdrawal from the Montreux Convention had been fuelled, among other things, by Erdogan’s denunciation of the Istanbul Convention on the Protection of Women and by a planned canal project through Istanbul.

Erdogan had only recently emphasized that there was no intention to withdraw from the Montreux Convention.

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