New Chief of Staff General Necdet Ozel
Photo: Reuters

Turkey names new armed forces chiefs

President Gul approves appointments following resignation of four top generals over coup conspiracy charges

Turkish President Abdullah Gul approved the appointment of new chiefs for the country's ground forces, navy and air force, a spokesman for Gul said on Thursday. The appointments followed the resignation of four top generals in protest of the implication of several officers in a conspiracy coup.



The spokesman said the appointment of General Necdet Ozel as head of the armed forces had also been agreed.


Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan visited military headquarters during the morning to sign off on the promotions after the conclusion of a four-day meeting of the Supreme Military Council (YAS).

PM Erdogan and Necdet Ozel (Photo: AP)


The shock departure last Friday of Ozel's predecessor Isik Kosaner and the heads of the ground forces, navy and air force, brought to the surface years of tension between the secularist military and a prime minister whose party emerged from a banned Islamist party more than a decade ago.


Their resignations have enabled Erdogan to tighten his control over a military force which once reigned supreme in Turkish politics but saw its powers curbed by Erdogan as he pushed through EU-backed reforms to strengthen democracy.


Since his conservative AK Party came to power in 2002, it has been engaged in a battle with a secularist establishment, led by the military and judiciary, which feared the party harboured a covert Islamist agenda.


AP contributed to this report



פרסום ראשון: 08.04.11, 13:00
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