Military Council to decide Aug 3

Military Council to decide Aug 3

The new commanders in the Turkish military are expected to be announced Aug. 3 after President Abdullah Gül’s approval, following a three-day meeting of the Supreme military Council (YAŞ).

The council will choose new commanders of the land, air and naval and gendarmerie forces. The current Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel will be keeping his post until August 2015, to be replaced by the new land Forces Commander to be announced this year.

The promotions of more than 20 generals and admirals who are on trial in cases such as the Ergenekon and “Balyoz” (Sledgehammer) coup plot cases and a military espionage case or are subject to investigations concerning unknown murders will be reviewed at this YAŞ meeting. Such members are expected to depart into retirement as a result of decisions at the YAŞ meeting.

There are also questions circulating around the future of Chief of Gendarmerie Forces Gen. Bekir Kalyoncu.
According to customary practice, Kalyoncu would be expected to replace the current chief of the Land Forces, a usual step before becoming the chief of the General Staff following a two-year long tenure.

If appointed as the new chief of the Land Forces, Kalyoncu will be eligible to become the top commander.

Yet there is speculation that the government does not approve of Kalyoncu’s promotion because his name was mentioned in testimonies by defendants in the Ergenekon case as a figure involved in operations run by the alleged Ergenekon gang.