Over and out: Mehmet Sarı, known as the “Turbaned Admiral” terminated by Turkey’s Defence Ministry

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Translated by Leo Kendrick

Turkey’s Defence Ministry (MSB) has announced that two-star admiral Mehmet Sarı, known as the “turbaned admiral,” was dismissed as the result of an investigation. Photos emerged over the past few months of the admiral wearing a robe and religious skull kap (Taqiyah) over his military uniform, alongside an official vehicle in front of a sect house in Ankara, prompting public outrage. A disciplinary investigation into Sarı is ongoing.

The investigation had lasted for four months

MSB officials answered questions following the general information meeting yesterday (29 July 2021). Ministry officials, regarding the outcome of the investigation launched against Sarı, said, “The personnel in question was dismissed after the investigation was started. In line with the principles of the Turkish Armed Forces Disciplinary Law, the proceedings of the High Disciplinary Board are continuing.” 

The ongoing investigation, which is now entering its fourth month, saw the departure of Admiral Sarı from Turkey’s Naval Supply Command. Photos came to light on 25 March of the admiral driving to an Ankara sect house in an official vehicle while wearing traditional religious dress. The resulting administrative investigation was announced on 5 April. 

The question of whether Admiral Sarı had remained on active duty during the investigation had been left unanswered. Following yesterday’s announcement, it became clear that Sarı had been suspended around the time the investigation was launched this past spring, although this information was not made public at the time.

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