Turkish PM expresses regret over resignation of navy commanders

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-10-15 16:45:49

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that he is surprised and deeply saddened by resignation of several senior navy commanders in protest of a ruling by an appeals court that upheld the convictions of plotting a coup by some military officers, local Today's Zaman newspaper reported on its website.

After Eid al-Adha prayer, Erdogan said he was surprised by a series of resignations in the Turkish navy, expressing his fury over timing of their move.

A commander who loves the nation and state should put the country's interests and priorities above anything else, Erdogan said.

Turkish Coast Guard Commander Vice Admiral Atilla Kezek, Coast Guard Commander Rear Admiral Sami Orguc and several other high- ranking navy officers declared resignation on Monday.

Turkish 9th Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals earlier announced its ruling which upheld convictions of 237 of the defendants, while acquitting 88 of the accused in the Sledgehammer (Balyoz) coup plot trial.

Sledgehammer is a coup plot created at a military gathering in 2003. The plan was designed to instigate social disorder by military operations, including bombing mosques in Istanbul.

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