End of duty comes for coup suspects
Zeynep Gürcanlı / Toygun Atilla ANKARA
President Gül (R) shakes hands with Gen Özel after a YAŞ meeting in Ankara.Turkey’s Chief of General Staff is expected to be Land Forces Commander Gen. Hulusi Akar as the second possible candidate Gen. Servet Yörük retired in the latest Supreme Military Board (YAŞ) meeting.
At the same meeting, the retirement of commanders who will be retried in the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) coup plot case were approved.
Gen. Yörük has finished his four-year-term as a full general in the army and his term could have been prolonged at the YAŞ meeting. However, the meeting concluded with Gen. Yörük’s retirement, leaving Gen. Akar the only suitable nominee for the Chief of General Staff position. Yörük will hand over his off position late August. If Akar is nominated to the position in 2015, he will stay at the post until 2019.
Except for Yörük, the military echelons remained the same, as Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel has another year in office. Meanwhile, Admiral Ahmet İskender Yıldırım was promoted to the position of rear admiral. Yıldırım was tried in the military espionage case and the court demanded a ban preventing him from leaving the country. The promotions in the Turkish Naval Force Command were more problematic due to the resignations and ongoing court cases.
Next year’s YAŞ meeting will determine the head of the Naval Forces. Retired Admiral Nusret Güner had resigned when he was expected to become the Commander of the Turkish Naval Forces. With his resignation, two admirals will be eligible to head the Naval Forces next year.
Admiral Bülent Bostanoğlu’s term will end next year and the YAŞ meeting may prolong it next year. Another option is the next YAŞ meeting may promote Admiral Veysel Kösele and bring him to the top naval post.