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Turkey: Military chiefs ‘resign en masse’
BayBak, Azerbaijan | 661 days ago | Friday, 29th July , 2011 , 18:54 [pm] | Azerbaijan
|.|| The chief of the Turkish armed forces has resigned, along with the heads of the army, navy and air force, according to the state-run Anatolia news agency.
The reason for the resignations
The chief of the Turkish armed forces has resigned, along with the heads of the army, navy and air force, according to the state-run Anatolia news agency.
The reason for the resignations of Gen Isik Kosaner and the other heads remains unclear.
There has been a history of tension between the secularist military and the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in recent years.
Gen Kosaner is reported to have met Mr Erdogan several times in recent days.
The Supreme Military Council, which decides on promotions for senior officers, was due to meet next week.
Gen Kosaner said he was resigning “as he saw it as necessary”, the Anatolia agency reported.
Friction between the government and military has been fuelled by an ongoing trial targeting dozens of senior military officers accused of plotting to overthrow the government.
The so-called “Sledgehammer” case arose from an alleged coup plan, presented at an army seminar in 2003.
That is just one of several scandals which have set Turkey’s secularist establishment against Mr Erdogan’s ruling AK party.
Critics have long suspected AK of having a secret Islamist agenda – a charge which the AK party has vigorously and consistently denied.
Gen Kosaner was appointed overall head of the Turkish armed forces just a year ago.
His appointment followed a period of intense friction between the government and the military, sparked by the Sledgehammer plot.
At that point, the politicians vetoed the army’s original choice for joint chief.
Gen Hasan Igsiz was initially proposed, but was blocked because he was implicated in Sledgehammer.
The alleged conspiracy was drawn up at the Istanbul base of the First Army, shortly after the governing AK Party came to power.
It reportedly involved plans to bomb mosques and provoke tensions with Greece, in order to spark political chaos and justify a military takeover.
The military says it was only a contingency plan based on scenarios of political unrest.bbc, Voice of a Nation