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POLITICS > Military Council to decide on fate of imprisoned 40 generals

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News

The upcoming Supreme Military Council meeting will draw attention for its decisions on the future of generals who are under arrest for their alleged role in coup-plot cases

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A soldier stands in front of the door of a room in General Staff headquarters, which hosts Supreme Military Council meetings. The sign reads ‘Top Secret Meeting.’ DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

A soldier stands in front of the door of a room in General Staff headquarters, which hosts Supreme Military Council meetings. The sign reads ‘Top Secret Meeting.’ DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

A total of 40 arrested active-duty generals and admirals face uncertain career futures as their scheduled promotions at this year’s Supreme Military Council (YAŞ) meetings appear unlikely due to regulations preventing arrested soldiers from advancing to a higher rank.

Given that those under arrest or “suspended from duty” lose their chance at a promotion, the 40 arrested soldiers appear headed for retirement as YAŞ, which will meet between Aug. 1 and 4. With a limit of 47 extensions, only seven active generals or admirals are likely to have their current terms extended in lieu of a promotion.

A parliamentary bill that could address the situation is also impossible due to the legislature’s summer recess, according to daily Cumhuriyet.

Some 68 commissioned officers, including two full generals, 14 lieutenant generals, 23 major generals or rear admirals, and 29 brigadier generals are currently under arrest as part of the “Balyoz” (Sledgehammer), Internet Memorandum and Feb. 28, 1997, post-modern coup probes, although this year’s YAŞ is examining the cases relating to just 40 of them.

Of those 40 generals in question, the four-year terms of 19 of them expire this year, while the 21 others received an extension to their terms during YAŞ’s councils in 2010 and 2011. During the 2010 and 2011 councils, the government and the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) implemented a formula to extend the ongoing terms of arrested generals.

This year’s YAŞ will not alter the makeup of the General Staff and military departments. The only full general set to retire this year is War Colleges Commander Gen. Aslan Güneri, meaning that only one soldier will be promoted to full generalship in the Land Forces. In the Navy, meanwhile, there are few soldiers who are in a position to be promoted to the rank of rear admiral.

List of soldiers arrested in coup-plot investigations
The breakdown of the 40 officers arrested as part of the “Balyoz” (Sledgehammer), Internet Memorandum and Feb. 28, 1997, post-modern coup probes whose situations will be discussed at this year’s Supreme Military Council (YAŞ) are as follows:

10 lieutenant generals and vice admirals: Korkut Özarslan (2007), Yurdaer Olcan (2008), Nejat Bek (2006), Mehmet Otuzbiroğlu (2006), Kadir Sağdıç (2008), Korcan Polatsü (2006), Ziya Güler (2006), Mehmet Eröz (2008), İsmail Hakkı Pekin (2006), Tevfik Özkılıç (2008).

14 major generals and rear admirals: Güngör Kurubaş (2008), Gürbüz Kaya (2006), Halil Helvacıoğlu (2006), Erdal Bektaş (2005), Ahmet Yavuz (2005), İhsan Balabanlı (2006), Abdullah Dalay (2006), Fehmi Canan (2008), Bekir Memiş (2008), Mücahit Şişlioğlu (2007), Fikret Güneş (2008), Beyazıt Karataş (2007), Berkay Turgut (2007), Cem Gürdeniz (2008).

Extensions received
16 brigadier generals and rear admirals: Kasım Erdem (2006), Ali Aydın (2005), Gökhan Gökay (2008), Ömer Mimiroğlu (2008), Abdullah Gavremoğlu (2006), Ahmet Türkmen (2006), Turgay Erdağ (2008), Fatih İlgar (2008), Aziz Çakmak (2008), Levent Erkek (2008), Mustafa İlhan (2007), Okan Kırçiçek (2008), İsmail Taylan (2007), Lokman Ekinci (2008), Hakan Eraydın (2007), Mehmet Ali Yıldırım (2006).
Soldiers noted by the year 2008 will go before YAŞ for the first time at this year’s meetings, while those identified by other years received an extension to their terms at YAŞ in either 2010 or 2011.

July/17/2012

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