Defense Ministry, not army chief, to decide appointment of force commanders

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ISTANBUL, TURKEY - NOVEMBER 20: Chief of the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces Hulusi Akar, delivers a speech during Defence and Security Committee (DSC) as part of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly's (NATO-PA) 62nd Annual session in Istanbul, Turkey on November 20, 2016. NATO-PA annual session takes place between 19th and 21st of November 2016 in Istanbul. Onur Coban / Anadolu Agency

Turkey’s Defense Ministry will from now on initiate the appointments process of force commanders in the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), unlike the past practice when the chief of general staff was responsible for the appointments, according to a newly released government decree.

The Justice and Development Party (AKP) issued three new decrees on Friday night, which all include controversial anti-coup measures.

Among other things, one of the decrees, numbered 681, has transferred the authority to initiate the appointments process of force commanders from the chief of general staff to the Defense Ministry.

In line with the new practice, the army chief will from now on not have any say over the appointment of force commanders. The appointments process of force commanders will be initiated by a proposal from the Defense Ministry, and the appointments will be approved by the prime minister and the president.

The government issues such decrees based on an emergency rule in the country that was declared in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt on July 15.

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