Turkey’s President rules out crisis, but Kosaner challenges legality of arrests


From Selcan Hacaoglu , the AP:  Turkey’s president acknowledged Saturday that the resignation of the nation’s top military commanders was unprecedented, but he said it would not cause a crisis. . . .

"No one should see this as a crisis in Turkey," President Abdullah Gul told reporters on Saturday. "The developments yesterday were extraordinary within its scope, but as you see everything is continuing on its own course. There is no (power) vacuum. . . ."

Gul said "[Gen. Isik] Kosaner asked to be retired," and that the others had already reached the retirement age. The president said their departure will enable the formation of a new command structure at a key military meeting that begins Monday.

Gul said Turkey’s independent judiciary is overseeing the court process regarding the arrests of the accused military officers in the alleged anti-government plot, and that his government is playing no role in the cases. . . .

The resignations came after a court ordered the arrest of seven more active duty generals and admirals along with more than a dozen other officers on charges of carrying out an Internet campaign to undermine the government.

Kosaner said in his farewell message that he was resigning because he could not protect the rights of his staff now that 250 officers, including several generals and admirals, have been imprisoned. They include 173 active duty and 77 retired officers, he said.

"As many law experts say, it is not possible to accept that the arrests comply with international rules of law, justice and values of conscience," Kosaner said.  (photo: Reuters)

Image: reuters%207%2030%2011%20Abdullah%20Gul%20Isik%20Kosaner.jpg