Turkey's main opposition: Draft bill jeopardizes military promotions

Turkey's main opposition: Draft bill jeopardizes military promotions

A draft that outlines amendments in the Military Law will damage the promotion system in the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), an executive of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) said.

The amendments will make it necessary for judicial authorities to receive the prime minister’s approval before trying senior members of the military.

Parliament’s National Defense Commission approved on Jan. 23 the draft that obliges the prime minister’s consent will be required for the prosecution of the chief of the General Staff and commanders of the Army, Navy and Air Force. It will also include the necessity of the interior minister’s consent for prosecution of the general commander of the Gendarmerie.

CHP’s deputy parliamentary group chair Akif Hamzaçebi stated if the amendments are adopted, the government will be able to extend terms for commanding officers until they reach the retirement age limit.

“This is extremely wrong. It is a system which will completely collapse the promotion system of the TSK and will completely place it [the promotion system] under the authority of the government, politics,” he said. “Making an arrangement that will pave the way for an extension up to seven-eight years by saying ‘until the retirement age limit,’ while it is possible to make an extension at longest for one year, will disrupt the TSK promotion system.”

Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz said the draft could come to the floor of the Parliament’s General Assembly in April as part of an omnibus bill.