Turkey culls nearly 1,400 from army, overhauls top military council
Turkey culls nearly 1,400 from army, overhauls top military council [IR]
Turkey dismissed nearly 1,400 more members of its armed forces and stacked the top military council with government ministers, moves designed by President Tayyip Erdogan to put him in full control of the military after a failed coup.
The scale of Erdogan’s crackdown — more than 60,000 people in military, judiciary, civil service and schools have been either detained, suspended or placed under investigation since the July 15-16 coup — has unnerved Turkey’s NATO allies, fuelling tension between Ankara and the West.
The new wave of army expulsions and the overhaul of the Supreme Military Council (YAS) were announced in the offi cial state gazette just hours after Erdogan said that he planned to shut down existing military academies and put the armed forces under the command of the Defence Ministry.
More than 1,700 military personnel had been dishonourably discharged for their role in the putsch, which saw a faction of the military commandeer tanks, helicopters and warplanes in an attempt to topple the government.
About 40 percent of Turkey’s generals and admirals have been dismissed since the coup, in which Erdogan says 237 people excluding the plotters were killed and more than 2,100 wounded.
Govt.’s deputy prime ministers and ministers of justice, the interior and foreign affairs would be appointed to YAS. The prime minister and defence minister were previously the only government representatives on the council.
They will replace a number of military commanders who have not been reappointed to the YAS, including the heads of the First, Second, and Third Armies, the Aegean Army and the head of the Gendarmerie security forces, which frequently battle Kurdish militants in the southeast. The changes appear to have given the government commanding control of the council.
Erdogan, who narrowly escaped capture and possible death on the night of the coup, told that the military, NATO’s second-biggest, needed “fresh blood”.
German Constitutional Court’s decision on the anti-coup rally in Cologne is an utter backsliding in freedom of speech and democracy. Germany is home to Europe’s largest ethnic Turkish diaspora.
Turkey’s military is taking part in U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Its Incirlik Air Base is used by coalition forces for missions against IS.