Shake up in Turkish military as thousands sacked after coup attempt
REUTERS photoA total of 1,684 soldiers, including 149 generals and admirals, were discharged from the Turkish Armed Forces over alleged links to the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ) after a failed coup attempt on July 15, only one day before a key Supreme Military Council (YAŞ) meeting.
The annual YAŞ meetings help shape the future of the military with appointments, promotions and reshuffles.
The recent discharge decision was part of new regulations, published late on July 27 in the Official Gazette and came as part of Turkey’s three-month state of emergency which allows the government to issue such decrees.
Those dismissed included arrested former Chief of Air Staff Akın Öztürk, who is allegedly among the organizers of the coup attempt, and 2nd Army Commander Gen. Adem Huduti, along with lieutenant generals Yıldırım Güvenç, İlhan Talu, Salim Ulusoy, and major generals Mehmet Dişli and Kubilay Selçuk.
Some 87 generals, 726 military officers and 256 non-commissioned officers were discharged from the land forces, according to the decree.
Some 32 admirals, 59 military officials and 63 non-commissioned officers were discharged from the naval forces while 30 generals, 314 military officers and 117 non-commissioned officers were discharged from the Air Force.
According to the decree, the regulation discharging all the personnel in question will come into effect on July 29, not on Aug. 30, the traditional date which also marks Victory Day, the final battle during the Turkish War of Independence.
Some 30 generals are still detained.
The Turkish General Staff announced earlier on July 27 that a total of 8,651 soldiers had taken part in the failed coup attempt of July 15, making up 1.5 percent of the military’s total personnel.
Describing the coup attempt as an “attempt by FETÖ terrorists in military uniforms,” the General Staff said 1,676 of the soldiers were rank and files while 1,214 were military students.
It also added that 35 planes, including 24 fighter jets, 37 helicopters, 74 tanks, 246 armored vehicles and three ships, were used in the coup attempt, while 3,992 light weapons were used by soldiers.
Interior Minister Efkan Ala has said a total of 15,846 people from the security forces, including 10,012 soldiers, have been detained as a part of the investigation into the coup attempt.
With the July 27 decree, the Gendarmerie and Coast Guard Commands were also brought under the control of the Interior Ministry.
Two resignations before YAŞ
Meanwhile, two top Turkish Land Forces commanders requested early retirement just ahead of the YAŞ meeting, the state-run Anadolu Agency quoted a military source as saying.
Speaking on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, the source said Gen. Kamil Başoğlu, the head of the Doctrine Command, and Gen. İhsan Uyar had both requested retirement on July 28.