Istanbul Canal: why has criticism led to arrests?
Ten retired admirals have been arrested in Turkey for criticising the government's Istanbul Canal project. A total of 104 retired admirals had spoken out against the project, which foresees the construction of a new 45-kilometre waterway to relieve the strain on the Bosphorus strait. Critics fear it will lead to environmental damage and Turkey's withdrawal from the Montreux Treaty, which regulates free shipping traffic across the Bosporus.
Served on a silver platter
The government will exploit the situation to the max, Yetkin Report suspects:
“With the help of the 'useful' enemy, the government can now try to cast opposition voices as 'putschists' and thereby silence them even more than it did before. ... This opportunity is being served to Erdoğan on a silver platter. He'll want to use it to pass a new constitution, which didn't really work out on the first try. ... Will Erdoğan call early elections because he expects to win on the basis of the 'victim' rhetoric that emerged from the retired officers' declaration? Or will he take new measures to silence the opposition?”
Yes to a tough stance but no to inhumane raids
Habertürk is ambivalent about the incident:
“A dawn police raid is never right. None of these admirals can escape, we all know that. Launching an investigation is the right step. It would be good to learn who's behind this ridiculous announcement that is blocking Turkey. ... From the point of view of democracy, it is certainly imperative to take an uncompromising stance on this statement. On the other hand, it is a moral obligation to oppose the police raids in order to do justice to the experiences of our past.”
Political Islam is gaining the upper hand
Protagon expresses concern about the growing rift in Turkish society:
“Indeed, this conflict exists between a government that desires the rapid Islamisation of Turkey and the once powerful and now persecuted guarantors of the state's secular identity [the army]. ... The conflict will intensify in the coming months, although Erdoğan now seems to be gaining the upper hand. The divide is far deeper than it appears to be from outside the country, mainly because the Erdoğan government rigidly controls access to information. We are still at the beginning. Turkey turning towards an even deeper political Islam cannot be ruled out.”