Turkish Defence Ministry blasts Islamist TV channel for insulting military

The Turkish Defence Ministry on Monday blasted an Islamist television channel known for its support of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) over derogatory comments made during a discussion programme on the country’s military.

"Attempting to insult the generals of the Turkish Armed Forces before the public is damaging to the rights and privileges of our military and our noble people. We strongly condemn the measureless and unbecoming analogy used to describe the noble generals of the armed forces,’’ the ministry said in a statement.

A news programme on Turkey’s Islamist Akit TV titled “Ters Kutuplar” (Opposite Polls) earlier this week featured the news editor of the station's sister outlet, Akit newspaper, Murat Alan. The Akit editor said that Turkish generals who previously did as they pleased, were now standing in support of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

“They will do so with pleasure, like donkeys,’’ Alan said during the programme.

The Defence Ministry said the comments pushed legal boundaries and it would closely be following the legal process started against the channel.

The Turkish president has used bureaucratic reforms to weaken the military’s influence in the country's domestic politics, instituting decrees discharging opposition officers and placing the military more directly under his chain-of-command following the July 2016 coup attempt.