Military to recruit nearly 10,000 personnel after FETÖ purges: Defense minister
A total of 9,753 military staff will be recruited “to meet the urgent need” that has arisen due to purges of the network of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli has said.
The candidates would be assigned as lieutenants following six months of training, Canikli said at a news conference in Ankara on Jan. 8, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Some 3,761 officers and 5,992 non-commissioned officers are expected to be recruited in 2018, he added.
Canikli stressed that the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ) had “devastated the military’s recruitment system,” saying the group once controlled all levers of the military’s entrance exams for officers, allowing it to infiltrate its followers into all parts of the military before the July 2016 coup attempt.
Following the coup attempt, the government established a new National Defense University on July 31, 2016, aiming to bring the military’s undergraduate and graduate study programs under a single institution. All military high schools were shut down.
In the redesigned format, only the National Defense University can accept applications from those who want to be part of the army at any level.
“Last year, more than 230,000 young people applied to enter. This is a record number,” Canikli said.
He noted that military-linked schools today train around 6,900 young people, including over 600 foreign guest students.
Around 8,000 military officers were removed from the military after the coup attempt.
FETÖ and its Pennsylvania-based leader, Fethullah Gülen, are widely believed to have orchestrated the attempted putsch.