ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
PM Erdoğan heads the Turkey’s Supreme Military Council (YAŞ) meeting. AA photo
Historic decisions made at Turkey’s Supreme Military Council (YAŞ) meeting, which lasted three days, were announced on the official website of the Turkish General Staff after receiving President Abdullah Gül’s approval.
According to the decisions, 40 generals currently held under arrest were retired, 29 generals and admirals were promoted to higher ranks and 47 captains were promoted to generalship and admiralty. The terms in office of 33 generals and admirals were extended an additional year, as well.
Forty generals and admirals, including Lt. Gen. Nejat Bek and Vice Adm. Kadir Sağdıç, will be moved from the Hasdal and Hadımköy Military Prisons to Silivri Prison on Sept. 1. The jailed generals were awaiting promotion, but their promotions were put on hold at last year’s council meeting. The council’s statement said the one-year waiting period for the generals had expired and they had to be retired due to a lack of open positions. Jailed Generals Bilgin Balanlı and Nusret Taşdeler were not retired, but Taşdeler was removed his from Education and Doctrine Commandership (EDOK), and became a YAŞ member, as did Balanlı. Since the law concerning military personnel presumes the exemption of generals held under arrest from limitations such as the waiting period and required age of retirement, the jailed generals could appeal the decision to the Military High Administrative Court. Uludere incident
Second Air Force Commander Lt. Gen. Mehmet Veysi Ağar, who led the operation that resulted in the death of 34 locals in Uludere, was retired by the decision of YAŞ while waiting for a promotion. Brig. Gen. Ali Rıza Kuğu, who was involved in the same inquiry, is among the generals receiving an extension rather than a promotion.
On May 24, Interior Minister İdris Naim Şahin made a statement about who gave the order to shoot in the Uludere Operation. “It seems that the Air Forces commanders who were watching the scene and analyzing the incident gave the order,” Şahin said. Following this statement, Justice and Development Party (AKP) Gaziantep deputy Şamil Tayyar claimed that Brig. Gen. Ali Rıza Kuğu, the head of the General Staff’s Department of Fighting Against Terrorism, had given the order to shoot.
Meanwhile, the term in office of Brig. Gen. Zeki Es, who has been charged but not arrested in the case of a mine blast in Çukurca in which 6 soldiers were killed, was extended one more year. YAŞ also decided to retire the Commander of the War Colleges, Gen. Aslan Güner. His rank of commandership was downgraded from general to lieutenant general. Lt. Gen. Raif Akbaş, who came to the brought to agenda when a sound recording linked to him appeared on the Internet, was appointed to Güner’s position.