Military overhaul aims to prevent future coups: Gov’t

Military overhaul aims to prevent future coups: Gov’t

Military overhaul aims to prevent future coups: Gov’t

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The main objective of the comprehensive changes in the Turkish military is to prevent the military from becoming a launchpad for future coup attempts, the government’s spokesperson has said, adding that a modernized Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) will be much more influential in the region. 

The changes that were announced over the weekend were not prepared coincidentally but feature specific objectives, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said, informing reporters about the key elements of the latest decree law that increased civilian control over military decisions.

“The first perspective of the changes is to make civil authority more powerful and to direct the civil-military relationship. That’s why we have increased the number of civilians on the Supreme Military Council (YAŞ),” Kurtulmuş said. 

The second objective was to prevent the Armed Forces from being controlled by a single authority, Kurtulmuş said in regards to the reasons the Gendarmerie and Coast Guard were tied to the Interior Ministry and the force commanders to the Defense Ministry. 

The third objective is to diversify the human resource pool of the Turkish army by closing all military schools and opening a National Defense University, he said, adding that the last objective was to turn the forces into a more professional army that would solely focus on national defense. 

“We realize that there is still a system that creates the basis for coups. Our objective is to bring about such a transparent system that nobody within the TSK or anybody planning to use some elements within the army would even think of staging a coup,” Kurtulmuş stated. 

A stronger army in the region 

The modernization of the Turkish army will allow it to become stronger in terms of providing for the security of Turkey in the region – something that would also foster increased civilian authority for a more transparent and democratic country. 

The chief of the General Staff will also be tied to the Presidency, Kurtulmuş said, rejecting claims that such a move would reduce the importance and weight of the high echelons of the military. “It’s not about that. The chief of the General Staff is not a symbolic institution,” he said. 

Intelligence to undergo substantial change 

The government is also working to create a more dynamic and efficient intelligence system in the country, Kurtulmuş said. “We should establish such an intelligence system that will prioritize the provision of intelligence for the security of the state and not against the people.”

Any changes at the military and intelligence have nothing to do with personalities, he added.