Turkish PM signals army restructuring after coup attempt

Turkish PM signals army restructuring after coup attempt

Turkish PM signals army restructuring after coup attempt

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The Turkish Army is set to be restructured in order to overcome the security vulnerabilities that surfaced during the failed coup attempt on July 15, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has said during a televised interview. 

“First of all, there is a serious need for restructuring in [public] institutions, especially the [Turkish] Armed Forces [TSK],” Yıldırım told Bloomberg News on July 25.
“There is a security gap, as we have seen during the coup attempt. There are problems in [the] hierarchy between lower level and senior level [officials.] We will restructure [the army] in a manner that will resolve these problems,” the prime minister added.

Yıldırım’s remarks were in line with his earlier statements, in which he suggested the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government would work with military experts “to do what is right” for Turkey and its army.

“This incident showed us that the presidency of [the] Turkish General Staff can easily be invaded. It should not be so easy to enter and invade these places. It is the heart of the armed forces,” Yıldırım said during an interview with private broadcaster A Haber on July 24, in response to a question regarding plans to move troops to provincial outskirts.

The prime minister was also asked whether the government had plans to shift to an entirely professional army, instead of one that included conscripts. Yıldırım said the exact nature of the measures was still not clear, however the necessity to reform was clear. 

In another interview the same day, the prime minister underlined that the army would not even dare to organize a coup attempt after all the necessary changes were made.

“Structures which produce revolutions should no longer have a place within the [Turkish] Armed Forces. In the modern world, the army of a developed country cannot be a threat to its own country, to its own nation. We need to stop it from becoming a threat,” Yıldırım said during a joint interview with private broadcasters NTV and Star, adding the road to success goes through structural reforms. 

“There will be such changes that they will not even dare to make an attempt,” the prime minister said, underlining the government knew which steps to take politically.

“We know what to do politically. The practices in similar countries are clear. The relations between the military and politics are clear. We will review all this and carry on with the most suitable structure for our country.”

A group of soldiers from the Turkish military, allegedly sympathizers of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, attempted to overthrow the democratically-elected government in Ankara by means of a failed coup attempt on July 15.

At least 246 people were killed overnight on July 15, excluding the coup plotters, while 2,100 others were injured.