World Bulletin/News Desk
The head press official of Turkish Presidency Ahmet Sever announced on Saturday the Supreme Military Council (SMC) decisions.
Sever stated that President Abdullah Gul approved the decision of the SMC on Saturday.
All force commanders have been replaced as the Supreme Military Council (YAŞ) re-shaped the army echelon.
The results of the three-day YAŞ meeting were made public after the decisions were presented to President Abdullah Gül on Saturday. According to the decisions, Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar has been appointed as the new Land Forces commander while Gendarmerie Commander Bekir Kalyoncu was forced to retire. Akar is expected to replace Özel in 2015.
Air Training Commander Lt. Gen. Akın Öztürk replaced Gen. Mehmet Erten as the new Air Forces commander. Head of the Education and Doctrine Command (EDOK) Servet Yörük replaced Gen. Kalyoncu while new Naval Forces Commander will be Vice Adm. Bülent Bostanoğlu.
Incumbent Chief of General Staff Gen. Özel, who is known for respecting civilian supremacy, will remain in his post until his retirement in 2015.
There has been speculation that the civilian wing of the council was opposed to Kalyoncu’s appointment as the Land Forces commander due to critical remarks he made about Turkey's settlement process with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), launched by the Turkish government in October last year, and his anti-government stance during a security summit in 2006.
The possible candidates to be appointed as the new gendarmerie commander are EDOK Head Gen. Yörük, Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Akar and 1st Army Commander Gen. Ataman. However, as Gen. Yörük faced charges in an indictment regarding the Feb. 28, 1997 postmodern coup, the government doesn't allegedly support the promotion of Yörük.
YAŞ meets twice a year, in August and December, under the chairmanship of the prime minister, whose presence was symbolic until 2010, when the civilian government began, to a certain extent, exerting its legal powers over YAŞ decisions concerning the promotion and retirement of generals.
During the August meetings, YAŞ decides on promotions and retirements of generals and service commanders as well as the promotion of colonels to the rank of general. In December, the council makes decisions about 10-year arms-procurement plans, which are revised every two years. In both meetings, YAŞ also discusses the general security situation in and around Turkey.
The Turkish General Staff said in a statement released on Saturday that 34 admirals and generals were promoted to a higher rank, 50 colonels were appointed to ranks of general and admiral and terms of 33 generals and admirals were extended during this year’s YAŞ meeting.Last Mod: 03 Ağustos 2013, 15:04