Turkey’s Top Military Commander’s Appointment Expected Saturday

Posted July 30th, 2011 at 6:00 am (UTC-5)
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Turkey's entire military command has resigned amid escalating tensions between the secularist military and Islamic-rooted government.

Local Turkish media said Friday the head of the armed forces, General Isik Kosaner, and the army, naval and air commanders had tendered their resignations to the government.

Media reports say Kosaner asked to leave because he “deemed it necessary.” The resignations came after Kosaner met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul to discuss key promotions of military staff at a meeting of the Supreme Military Council next week. Mr. Erdogan is reported to have signaled he would block promotions for officers he believed were part of a conspiracy to bring down his government.

General Necdet Ozel is expected to be appointed Turkey's top military commander Saturday.

Authorities have detained more than 300 people as part of a wide-reaching investigation into plots to undermine the government. Some 200 active and retired military officers, including 30 generals, have been charged in the probe. Most of the officers who have been charged are being held in prison.