General Necdet Ozel, commander of Turkey’s gendarmerie paramilitary force, arrives to meet with Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara July 29, 2011. Turkey said on Friday its top four military chiefs were all seeking retirement, in moves that appeared to reflect a deep rift between the secularist military and a government with roots in political Islam. State-run Anatolian news agency said the head of the armed forces General Isik Kosaner and the commanders of the ground, naval and air forces were all stepping down, in what some Turkish media initially described as resignations. Following the announcement Erdogan met the head of Turkey’s gendarmerie paramilitary force, General Necdet Ozel, and they subsequently went separately to the presidential palace to meet President Abdullah Gul, fuelling speculation Ozel may be appointed to replace Kosaner. REUTERS/Stringer
In a rapid turn of events, Turkey’s 4 top military leaders decided to quit their positions after complaining about the increasing number of imprisoned military officials in the Ergenekon Case. Instead of trying to start a coup d’etat, they decided to resign. This is definitely a new era in Turkey. However, I am not too surprised or happy with this new turn of events. My regular readers know that I have no sympathy to Turkish military both in ideological terms and in personal terms (check out Erkan in military service category if you life) Still, the army’s power has been broken for a while now, we now will have to see if army will be replaced by other militaristic forces. Ruling government’s performance since the Referendum is not very encouraging and our Primer Minister sometimes act not dissimilar to a Sultan… So although pro-AKP people and some of the liberals cheer for this new development, I do not see what new happened in our quest for a more democratic desire- let me remind that special police forces are candidates for a new militaristic regime… Let’s hope this won’t be the case…
In this Aug. 27, 2008 file photo,Turkey’s Chief of Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug, left, and Turkish army’s Land Forces Commander Gen. Isik Kosaner seen during a ceremony in Ankara, Turkey, Turkey’s current Chief of Staff Gen. Kosaner and other top commanders resigned Friday, July 29, 2011.(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici, File)
from World news: Turkey | guardian.co.uk
News agency reports that the most senior officers in army, navy and air force step down over rift with ruling administration
The chiefs of staff of Turkey’s military resigned on Friday, media reports said, as tension over the arrest of dozens of officers accused of plotting to overthrow the Islamic-rooted government reached a climax.
from Kamil Pasha by Jenny White
Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Işık Koşaner requested his retirement Friday afternoon, along with Turkey?s Land, Sea and Air Force commanders, leaving NATO?s second biggest army temporarily leaderless.
from NYT > Turkey by By GUL TUYSUZ and SABRINA TAVERNISE
The commanders resigned en masse, a move that many analysts saw as a failed effort by a beleaguered institution to exert what is left of its political power.
The Turkish military snaps
So far, the AKP has enjoyed the upper hand: In 2007, the AKP authorities launched a court case, known as Ergenekon, which alleged a coup plot against the government and accused the military of involvement. Four years and hundreds of arrests later,
Turkish Military’s Chief of Staff Resigns
That case is based on a conspiracy by an alleged gang of secular nationalists called “Ergenekon.” Critics say the Sledgehammer and Ergenekon cases are built on flimsy evidence and designed to silence Erdogan’s pro-secular opponents
by ANKARA – Anatolia News Agency
Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Işık Koşaner requested his retirement Friday afternoon.