Saturday, July 30, 2011

Turkey's Top Commanders Resign

ANKARA - Turkey's top military commander Gen. Isik Kosaner and the chiefs of the three forces abruptly resigned July 29 in the worst showdown between the secular military and the government of Islamist-leaning Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which came to power in 2002, the Turkish media reported.
Former Turkish Chief of Staff Gen. Isik Kosaner, right, is shown with NATO Supreme Commander Adm. James Stavridis before their meeting in March. (Turkish Chief of Staff via Agence France-Presse)
Kosaner was the chief of the Turkish General Staff. The other three men who resigned are Army Commander Gen. Erdal Ceylanoglu, Navy Commander Adm. Esref Ugur Yigit and Air Force Commander Gen. Hasan Aksay.
News reports here cited a press statement by the three commanders, which said they saw "a need" to resign.
The resignations came only days before Turkey's annual meetings for military promotions.
More than 40 generals and admirals, of the military's 360-plus flag officers, are in jail and facing coup-related charges.

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