Friday, July 29, 2011

Turkey appoints new army chief

General Necdet Ozel

Source: Press TV

Turkish General Necdet Ozel has been appointed as the new commander of the country's ground forces after several military chiefs resigned.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul approved the appointment of Ozel on Friday, Turkish television networks reported.

The new appointment came on the same day Turkey's armed forces chief, General Isik Kosaner, and the commanders of the army, air force, and navy all resigned.

Kosaner said he quit in protest over the imprisonment of military officers in a variety of court cases.

"It has become impossible for me to continue in this high office because I am unable to fulfill my responsibility to protect the rights of my personnel as the Chief of General Staff," Reuters quoted Kosaner as saying.

However, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's office denied Kosaner's claims, saying the military chiefs who have stepped down are simply going into retirement.

Forty-two generals and dozens of lower-ranking officers are currently in prison in an investigation of alleged plots to unseat the government led by the Justice and Development Party (AKP).

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