>> I need to tell the truth. I think the impact is disastrous.>> A sacked Turkish general speaking out against President Tayyip Erdogan. In an exclusive interview with Reuters, Brigadier General Mehmet Yalinalp slamming the Turkish government's purge of top commanders and pilots.>> I am only one of the thousands of people who have no idea why we have been expelled.
If you lose your trained, skillful people, if you lose your honest, trustworthy people, then I think you have a major problem. It might take some years, even some decades to go back to our level prior to what has happened.>> Yalinalp was one of Turkey's most senior NATO generals, fired a week after July's failed coup.
nce then Turkey's sacked or suspended more than 125,000 state officials. Yalinalp travelled from Germany to Brussels to speak with Reuters Robin Emmott.>> Clearly, it's very irritating for the government to have senior people like Yalinalp speaking out so critically. But I don't think it's going to, in itself, bring change.
I think what it does do though is put more and more pressure on European politicians and people at NATO to speak out on behalf of their former colleagues. After all, Yalinalp was a very respected member of the alliance, and was charged with drawing up very important air command plans.
>> One first part in favor.>> And that's already happening. EU lawmakers on Thursday, condemning Ankara's purge, urging EU governments to freeze membership talks with Turkey. That has Erdogan incensed. He's accused the West of siding with terrorists. And Turkish officials say the military is more loyal and effective now that rogue officers have been removed.
Yalinalp says he's innocent, and as Erdogan's in power, is unlikely to return.