General Staff says Hürriyet distorted its response to criticisms

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Turkey’s General Staff has broken its silence over a report published by the Hürriyet daily last Saturday about tension between the government and the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and said the daily distorted its response to criticism of the military.

The report, which was published by the daily on Saturday and written by Hürriyet’s Ankara Representative Hande Fırat, was titled “The [military] headquarters is restless,” which meant to say that the General Staff was disturbed about criticism suggesting that it was too close to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and found it without merit.

Hürriyet has received heavy criticism from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as well as Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and other government figures for the report and has been accused of trying to create tension between the government and the army.

Releasing a statement on Tuesday, the General Staff said it had informed a journalist about the criticism of the TSK and that no expression such as “the military is restless” was used.

“Reflecting the issue as if there were tension between the TSK and the government is simply distorting it,” said the General Staff statement.

Earlier in the day, President Erdoğan, who voiced his uneasiness with the Hürriyet report and said the daily would pay a heavy price for it, noted that the General Staff would release a statement from its website on the issue.

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