Turkey was set to fill vacancies at the top of its armed forces on Thursday after its four leading generals quit in protest last week at the jailing of hundreds of their comrades charged with plotting to overthrow the government.
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan visited military headquarters during the morning to sign off on the promotion decisions, which were expected to be presented to President Abdullah Gul at 11 am (0800 GMT) after the conclusion of a four-day meeting of the Supreme Military Council (YAS), media reports said.
Erdogan has already earmarked General Necdet Ozel, who until last week was head of the paramilitary Gendarmerie, to fill the top spot as Chief of the General Staff for the second largest armed forces in NATO.
The shock departure last Friday of his predecessor Isik Kosaner and the heads of the ground forces, navy and air force, brought to the surface years of tensions between the secularist military and a prime minister whose party emerged from a banned Islamist party more than a decade ago.
Their resignations have enabled Erdogan to tighten his control over a military force which once reigned supreme in Turkish politics but saw its powers curbed dramatically by Erdogan has he pushed through EU-backed reforms to strengthen democracy.
The erosion of the army's influence has consigned to history the power which enabled it to stage three coups since 1960 and most recently pressure an Islamist-led government out of office in 1997.
ReutersLast Mod: 04 Ağustos 2011, 11:29