Turkish president attends military graduation ceremony in Istanbul
No group or marginal mentality will be allowed to prevail at Turkish military schools, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday.
Addressing a graduation ceremony at National Defense University in Istanbul, Erdogan said: “We will not let any ideology, group or marginal mentality to take control of our [military] schools.”
Erdogan said the Turkish Military Academy was among the main centers of plotters of the defeated coup of July 15, 2016.
Fethullah Terrorist Organization and its U.S.-based leader Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured in Turkey.
The president added that all military educational institutions of Turkey were now under a single roof, namely the National Defense University, after the old education system was rectified following the defeated coup.
Referring to the NATO drill incident in Norway last week during which the reputation of Turkish president and founder were tarnished, Erdogan said: “To offend and weaken our army is utterly different from fighting against coup plotters, traitors who infiltrated our army.”
Turkey withdrew its troops from NATO's Trident Javelin exercise in Norway last Friday after a civilian Norwegian official depicted Turkish president as an "enemy collaborator".
A portrait of Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was also shown in the "hostile leader list" during a computer-assisted exercise of the drill.
Following the incident, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg apologized to Turkey and Chief of Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar.
Addressing the same ceremony, Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar said FETO attempted to defame Turkish military during its bid to overthrow the government on July 15, 2016.
Gen. Akar said: “Today, the Turkish General Staff carries out its duty to defend [the country’s] sovereignty and independence, as the citizens expect from it, with a high consciousness and excellence, which is getting stronger as it gets cleared from traitors who infiltrated it.”
Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.