Friday, August 5, 2011

Turkey appoints four new commanders

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C) heads the Interior Security Meeting (file photo)

Source: Press TV

Turkey's Supreme Military Council has appointed four new commanders after the surprise resignation of the military leadership last week.

Thursday's announcement came nearly a week after the chief of the general staff along with commanders of Turkey's army, navy and air force resigned over a row with the government about promotions for generals and admirals held in an alleged anti-government plot.

President Abdullah Gul approved the appointments of the new heads at the end of the Supreme Military Council's annual four-day Interior Security Meeting, headed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The four commanders will take their posts once a final cabinet approval has been made, AFP reported.

This year's meeting marks the first time a civilian government showed assertiveness against the country's once mighty military.

“The military had some misconceptions and an incorrect, antidemocratic culture about the role of an army,” said Atilla Sandikli, a former military officer and now a researcher with a think tank in Ankara.

“However, from now on, I believe that the army would not be able to dismiss any civilian authority or its decrees or manipulate governments like it did in the past,” Sadikli added.

Since 1960, Turkey's military has overthrown three governments.

Moreover, control of the military by a civilian government is an important requirement for obtaining membership in the European Union.

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