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Turkish navy sails through rough seas

Turkey is using its navy to display its global prowess, after the Sledgehammer trials saw many naval officers detained and forcibly retired.
Navy officers attend a delivery ceremony for the first nationally designed combat ship TCG Heybeliada at the Tuzla Naval shipyard in Istanbul September 27, 2011.  REUTERS/Osman Orsal (TURKEY - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY) - RTR2RWMP

The last 10 years have been a struggle for survival for the Turkish navy. Many senior naval officers, including admirals, have been detained and imprisoned on a variety of charges. Purge-like arrests of naval personnel started with the so-called Sledgehammer case at the beginning of 2010, which saw 13 serving admirals detained and forcibly retired. In the Sledgehammer case, 365 military personnel, 250 of whom were detained, were put on trial. The case concluded with the sentencing of the navy officers, including 25 admirals who are now retired, to 12-20 years in prison. The Sledgehammer trials were followed by the Poyrazkoy case mid-2010.

Five more naval officers were arrested on charges of buried weapons discovered at Poyrazkoy, which was followed by arrests of 17 senior officers on charges of “an assassination attempt against the commander of the navy.” The indictment included a charge that a bomb would be set off on a submarine that was on exhibit at the Istanbul Koc Museum, to create chaos, and 33 senior officers were detained on these charges. Subsequently, 10 naval officers of the Golcuk Fleet Command Intelligence Unit were brought to court on charges of incriminating documents discovered. Finally, 56 naval personnel were tried on charges of prostitution and spying in Izmir.

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