Compromise ends Turkish deadlock on military appointments

TURKEY's government and armed forces announced a compromise yesterday on the appointment of two top military positions, demonstrating growing civilian authority over the military, which once shaped the country's politics.

Prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan refused last week to approve the military's first choice for land forces commander, overturning an old practice in which the government rarely resisted such appointments despite its power of final approval for promotions within the ranks.

Mr Erdogan's veto meant the current land forces commander, General Isik Kosaner, had no replacement and could not be named army chief of staff at the end of a four-day military council meeting last week.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

President Abdullah Gul's office announced yesterday that General Erdal Ceylanoglu had been appointed land forces commander. That freed Gen Kosaner to advance to chief of staff and oversee Turkey's land, navy, air and gendarmerie forces.

The government opposed the military's candidate for land forces commander, General Hasan Igsiz, after a prosecutor named him as a suspect in an alleged plot to set up websites to disseminate propaganda critical of the government.