The head of the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has said the changes in the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) were made hastily after the July 15 failed coup attempt, believed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to have been masterminded by the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).
“Radical changes were made in the TSK’s structure. It was made possible for the president and the prime minister to give orders to the chiefs of the land, air and naval forces. The changes made in the main body of the TSK were rushed in,” MHP head Devlet Bahçeli said during the parliamentary group meeting of his party on Aug. 2, adding that the restructuring of the TSK was “important” and “needed.”
“However we need to see that bringing the chiefs of the land, air and naval forces under the control of the national Defense Ministry ruins the chain of command. Our priority is to bring a change of mentality into life step-by-step,” he said.
Saying that the main aim should be to dry out the resources that motivate the “coup-producing traitors” rather than settling account with the soldiers, Bahçeli said the TSK couldn’t be portrayed as putschists as a whole.
“The Turkish army is national and it can’t be portrayed as pro-coup as a whole. The coup plotters in the army should be eliminated, but the reputation of the soldiers shouldn’t be crushed and lynched when Turkey has a national security problem. The TSK should be restructured dynamically against lynching and threats, while its deterrence would also be protected,” he added.
During his speech, Bahçeli also said the TSK should be ready to intervene into regional crises, as well as other ones around the world.
“The shackling and blaming of the TSK would cause misfortunes in the coming period. For us, if the aforementioned changes were made in the normalization process of Turkey, they would be permanent. The cohesion of the army and the people should be taken back to its old position. Bringing the general staff under the control of the president is untimely,” he said.