Turkey’s New Top Military Commanders


From Zaman:  President Abdullah Gül has approved the appointment of the four top military leaders. As expected, army chief Gen Necdet Özel is promoted to chief of general staff.   In what could be seen as an interim solution to the ongoing controversy over the situation of 14 senior military officers, who are all currently jailed over their suspected involvement in a coup plan but were expecting promotion, Turkey’s Supreme Military Council (YAŞ) has decided to extend their assignments and allow them to stay at their posts an extra year. . . .

According to the decisions as announced by Gül’s press and public relations advisor, Ahmet Sever, Gen. Necdet Özel has been appointed Turkey’s new military chief while Gen. Hayri Kıvrıkoğlu is the country’s new Land Forces commander and Adm. Emin Murat Bilgel is Naval Forces commander. Gen. Bekir Kalyoncu has been appointed the head of the Gendarmerie General Command while Gen. Mehmet Erten has been appointed Air Force commander. Reports said Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Aslan Güner — remembered for refusing to shake the hand of President Gül’s headscarved wife, Hayrünnisa Gül, during an official ceremony — was appointed the commander of the War Academies.

Aegean Army Corp Commander Nusret Taşdeler, for whom a prosecutor recently demanded an arrest warrant as part of an investigation into websites allegedly set up by the military to disseminate anti-government propaganda, was appointed the head of the Education and Doctrine Command (EDOK) in Ankara. Gen. Yalçın Ataman was assigned to the 1st Army Corps Command while Gen. Ahmet Turmuş was assigned to the 3rd Army Corps Command. Gen. Abdullah Atay was assigned as the head of the Aegean Army Corps Command. . . .

There are currently 41 active duty generals and admirals who are in jail on coup charges and 14 of them were in line for a promotion. Contrary to claims that the 14 officers would be either suspended or forced to retire, the top military council chose to extent their assignment for another year. The proposal to extend their assignments were reportedly made by Gen. Özel, who attended the meeting as the acting chief of General Staff after he was appointed by Gül to temporarily head the military after Koşaner’s resignation.  (photo: Reuters)

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