Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) chaired the Supreme Military Council on Saturday, August 3, 2013.
Turkey’s Supreme Military Council, chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has overhauled ranks of the army by appointing new commanders.
The top Turkish military body on Saturday elected Vice-Admiral Bulent Bostanoglu as commander of the navy, Lieutenant General Akin Ozturk as head of the air force; and General Servet Yoruk as commander of the gendarmerie.
The council also decided on the forced retirement of gendarmerie force commander General Bekir Kalyoncu.
General Kalyoncu was expected to become the commander of the land forces.
President Abdullah Gul has also approved the council’s decisions.
Commentators say Erdogan has cracked down on the military since he took office in 2002. Many army officers have been arrested and put on trial for allegedly plotting to stage a coup against the government.
The overhaul of the Turkish army’s ranks underlined the government’s control over the armed forces.
The Turkish army carried out three coups between 1960 and 1980. In 1997, the military also pushed the first Islamic government out of office.