Turkey's powerful generals on Friday stepped into a deepening controversy over an apology by Turkish intellectuals for the mass killings of Armenians in World War One, saying the campaign had "harmful consequences".
The Internet initiative, which has drawn criticism from Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and nationalists, coincides with a diplomatic rapprochement between Turkey and Armenia to end almost 100 years of hostility. Nearly 14,000 people have signed the apology.
"We definitely think that what is done is not right. Apologizing is wrong and can yield harmful consequences," Brigadier General Metin Gurak, spokesman for the General Staff, told a news conference.
On Wednesday, Erdogan said the campaign had no other benefit than "stirring up trouble, disturbing our peace and undoing the steps which have been taken".
President Abdullah Gul has distanced himself from those comments, hailing the initiative as proof of Turkey's democratic health. He became the first Turkish leader to visit Armenia in September as Turkey sought to improve ties.
Turks, including Nobel prize-winning author Orhan Pamuk, have been prosecuted in the European Union candidate country for affirming that the mass killings of Armenians in 1915 amounted to genocide.
Turkey accepts that many Armenians were killed during the waning years of the Ottoman Empire, but strongly reject Armenian assertions it was genocide, saying that Muslim Turks also died in inter-ethnic conflicts. Western historians have backed Armenian arguments that the killings amounted to genocide.