ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
This (Uludere) incident had nothing to do with me; we perform our duties according to what we are ordered,” Gen. Ağar reportedly says. DHA photo
The Office of the Chief of General Staff has dismissed news reports that the recent retirement of Second Air Force Commander Gen. Mehmet Veysi Ağar by decision of Turkey’s Supreme Military Council (YAŞ) was due to the Uludere incident.
“The Second Air Force Commander’s retirement was in no way connected with the news that has appeared in the media,” The statement. The Uludere operation near the Iraqi border resulted in the death of 34 local smugglers on Dec. 28, 2011.
The quota or full generals is limited to two according to the Military Personnel Law, and there were no promotions this year because both places are occupied, the statement said. YAŞ had to retire one general to and extend the career of another by keeping him on a waiting list. “The Second Air Force Commander was [therefore] retired due to the lack of a position,” the statement said.
The two full generals of the air forces are Air Forces Commanders Mehmet Erten and Bilgin Balanlı. Balanlı is currently in custody at Hasdal military prison as part of the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) case. Balanlı is accused of being part of a coup d’état plan in 2003 in Istanbul.
Speaking to the press, Gen. Ağar had said he was allegedly retired because he was held responsible for last year’s Uludere incident. “This incident had nothing to do with me; we perform our duties according to what we are ordered,” Ağar reportedly said.