Nine generals, over 300 soldiers at large: Defense minister

Nine generals, over 300 soldiers at large: Defense minister

ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Nine generals, over 300 soldiers at large: Defense minister

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More than 300 soldiers, including nine generals, who are suspected of having links with the July 15 failed coup attempt remain at large, Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Işık said on Aug. 1.

“There are 311 soldiers including nine generals who are on the run,” Işık told private broadcaster CNN Türk, adding that efforts were underway to find the soldiers.     

Işık also commented on the closure of military schools as part of a series of key decisions made in the aftermath of the deadly coup attempt, which killed more than 230 people and injured nearly 2,200 others.      
The minister said the decision would affect 3,900 students.  
“These schools are used as strongholds of FETÖ [the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization]. We have carried out technical analyses. The Measuring, Selection and Placement Center [OSYM] started administering the military school entrance exam in 2000. The exam questions from 2000 to 2014 were all leaked,” he said.
Işık added that the technical analyses also revealed that over 95 percent of the current military school students were “connected to FETÖ.”   

Under a statutory decree announced on Aug. 1, Turkey’s land, naval, and air forces are now under control of the Defense Ministry, while the Turkish Coast Guard and Gendarmerie General Command have been brought under the control of the Interior Ministry.      

The move allows the president and the prime minister to receive information directly from the force commanders when it is necessary and to give them direct orders, which will be fulfilled immediately without approval from another authority.    
The decree also closes all of Turkey’s war academies, military high schools and high schools that train non-commissioned officers, to be replaced by a new university called the National Defense University under the Defense Ministry.