New Generals Appointed In Turkey
August 4, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
ANKARA, Turkey, Aug. 4 (UPI) — Turkey appointed a slate of new military commanders Thursday after a number of top generals resigned in a surprise move last week, the government said.
Turkish President Abdullah Gul approved a new set of commanding officers for the Turkish military following three days of talks at the Supreme Military Council, Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reports.
Gen. Necdet Ozel takes over as chief of General Staff. He previously served as the head of the Turkish paramilitary police force.
Gul appointed Ozel as acting chief of staff after several top military commanders resigned last week.
The resignations were seen as part of a struggle between the Turkish military and the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP.
Tensions have risen between the AKP government and the military over the future political direction of Turkey, as many in the military see the AKP as pursuing a covert policy of attempting to Islamize Turkey society.
Francis Ricciardone, the U.S. ambassador to Ankara, told senators this week that the military shakeup would “not come as a setback” to bilateral security relations.