Government completes removal of military units from city centers after failed coup
AA photoThe Turkish government has completed the removal of military units from city centers, including Istanbul and the capital Ankara, as part of measures taken in the aftermath of the failed coup attempt of July 15.
The relocation process has included key military divisions in the capital with their tanks, armored vehicles, and all their military equipment.
“The removal process in Istanbul and Ankara is completed. From now on, tracked armored vehicles will no longer be held in city centers,” Defense Minister Fikri Işık was quoted as saying by the state-run Anadolu Agency on Sept. 16.
Işık stated that once the removal process is fully completed, the military fields and buildings will be opened to public use.
The decision to remove military units from city centers was taken after the coup attempt, as Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım vowed to take all necessary measures to prevent the reoccurrence of such attempts.
“We will take very radical measures. All military units will be removed from city centers,” Yıldırım said on July 23.
The removal process in Ankara’s Armored Unit School and Training Division Command started in late August. Sixty-two tanks and 37 armored personnel carriers, as well as armored combat carriers in the training division command in the Etimesgut district of Ankara, were transported to Şereflikoçhisar, a province of the capital city. While tanks were carried by tank carriers, the supplies in barracks were transported by trailers.
Another 66 tanks and 43 armored personnel carriers from the same division will be transported via railway to military units in Burdur, a southwestern Anatolian town, in the coming days.
Meanwhile, the transportation process in the Mechanized Infantry Brigade Command in Ankara has been completed. Some 40 tanks and 110 armored crawlers, including armored personnel carriers and armored combat vehicles, and six howitzers were transported to units in the Central Anatolian town of Çankırı.
Two commands in Istanbul have been removed to other cities. Some 14 howitzers in the Armored Brigade Command in Istanbul have been transported to military units in the southeastern province of Kahramanmaraş, while 80 tanks and 169 tracked armor vehicles have been transported to Gaziantep, on Turkey’s border with Syria, via railway. In addition, 40 tanks in Mechanized Infantry Brigade Command in Istanbul’s Bağcılar district have been removed to the Thracian province of Tekirdağ while 15 howitzers and 158 tracked armor vehicles have been sent to units in Sivas in eastern Turkey.
In addition to the relocation of military units, the government is also considering moving the offices of the Chief of General Staff and all force commanders from downtown Ankara to the outskirts of the capital.