Seven generals asked for retirement before military board decision: Ministry
ANKARASeven general and admirals asked for retirement of their own volition before recent promotions and demotions within Turkey’s military ranks, the Defense Ministry has stated, amid media reports that the government had asked 10 generals to retire and threatened them with dismissal through state of emergency degrees.
Their request for retirement was approved on Aug. 18, the ministry said, stressing that the resignations have nothing to do with appointments and demotions decided by the Supreme Military Council (YAŞ) on Aug. 2 and announced on Aug. 20. The ministry did not give details of the names of the retired generals and admirals.
Vice Admiral Adnan Özbal’s appointment as commander of the Naval Forces had been a surprise move, as Fleet Commander Admiral Veysel Kösele was expected to assume the role because of his higher rank. Özbal, who was fifth in the navy’s seniority rankings, bypassed four more senior admirals, and Kösele issued his request for retirement following the YAŞ decisions.
Another YAŞ decision was to appoint Lieutenant General Arif Çetin to the General Commandership of the Gendarmerie Forces and to raise him to the level of a general. Following this decision, Lieutenant General Ata Kalkan, the Deputy General Commander of the Gendermarie, requested his retirement.
Meanwhile, Special Forces Commander Lieutenant General Zekai Aksakallı is also reported to be uneasy about his new passive post and has been considering resigning after being assigned as commander of the army’s 2nd Corps, based on the Gallipoli peninsula in northwestern Turkey. Amid reports of Aksakallı’s possible retirement, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Aug. 21 stated that he would continue his new duty and stressed that there can be “no disappointment” in military service.