Speaking at an event to mark the occasion in the Black Sea city of Samsun, Kurtulmus said: “The military is not disturbed but it is obvious that some people in Turkey are disturbed by the fact that the Turkish Armed Forces are working in harmony with the government, which is elected by nation’s will.”
On Feb. 25, the Hurriyet newspaper published an article claiming the military was “disturbed” by criticism of it. For some, the choice of language echoed news reports which preceded coups of previous years.
The piece drew criticism from political leaders, including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the General Staff issued a statement on Tuesday distancing itself from the article.
Kurtulmus added: “Everyone should mind their own business. The media should mind its own business, bureaucracy, military bureaucracy and government as well.
“The present government is at work with the support and votes of the people and the Turkish Armed Forces is and will be one of the entities at this present government’s service.”
On Feb. 28, 1997, the military presented the coalition led by Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan with an ultimatum that led to its collapse. It became know as the post modern coup because of the absence of actual violence in the military’s replacement of the government.
“From now on, we should make efforts so that no coups like Feb. 28, May 27, Sept. 12 or July 15 occur again,” Kurtulmus said, referring to the coups of 1997, 1960 and 1980 and last year’s attempted coup.
He identified three main factors supporting a coup -- “distracted minds” that do not share Turkey’s values; structural reasons such as the conflict between the posts of president and prime minister; and foreign intervention.