ANKARA, February 15 - National Defence Minister Vecdi Gonul speaking to critics on the role of the army in Turkey said, "Certain things are tolerated according to the character of each country."
"For example, in the U.K. there is a parliament still coming to duty by appointment; The House of Lords. From time to time our religious organization is scrutinized. However, in the U.K., which is the cradle of democracy, there is a controlling monarchy that also has a religious aspect being head of the British church."
"In NATO, the "general commandership" is a unit of the Defense Ministry. The only exception to this command structure is in Turkey. However, this issue is neither in the negotiation articles, nor there is a sign that it will be inserted."
Vecdi Gonul said to Hurriyet columnist Sedat Ergin that 10 percent of military hospitals would be opened to civilian public. He added that the NATO contractor privilege had ended.