Victory Day reception to be in Presidency
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily NewsA first will be experienced during this year’s Victory Day celebrations as President Abdullah Gül will host the traditional reception instead the Chief of General Staff, as part of the government’s efforts to limit the military’s influence in politics.
The decision to hold the Victory Day reception by the president was given last year after the resignation of the entire military echelon due to a disagreement over hundreds of arrested on-duty and retired military personnel.
The move followed a number of symbolic changes of the protocol that reduced the military’s weight at the events and meetings in which civilians rulers do also attend. This campaign gained momentum after the appointment of Necdet Özel to the head of the army last year.
Former chief of general staffs and other senior commanders were refusing to attend to the receptions held by the President due headscarf-wearing first lady, Hayrünnisa Gül. That move caused controversy between the government and former military echelons which preferred to hold own receptions at the military headquarters.