Turkish prosecutors are demanding between three to 12 years in prison for 103 retired admirals, who signed a statement in support of an 85-year-old maritime accord, T24 news site reported on Monday.
The former admirals are accused of conspiring to commit a crime “against the security of the state and constitutional order,” in the indictment prepared against them by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, according to T24.
The former high-ranking navy personnel in April signed a document expressing concern over a possible threat to the Montreux Convention governing the use of Turkey’s key waterways.
Turkey detained over 10 former admirals over the move, with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) saying the declaration was a challenge to civilian government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused the retired soldiers of “hinting at a political coup.”
The statement followed Ankara’s approval in March of plans to develop a shipping canal in Istanbul, which the former generals said would open a debate on the opened on the 1936 treaty.
Included in the indictment against the former generals are digital materials belong to a number of suspects in the case, who had been issued detention warrants, the site said, in addition to written correspondence.
In the declaration the admirals denounced the ruling AKP for “opening up for discussion the Montreux Convention” and for the Islamisation of the armed forces over an active-service rear admiral’s visit to the leader of an extreme religious sect.