Turkish Defense Ministry: 7 generals and admirals ask permission for retirement

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Turkish Supreme Military Council (YAS) meeting, under the presidency of Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim (C), is held at Cankaya Palace in Ankara, Turkey on August 02, 2017. Hakan Goktepe / Anadolu Agency

A statement by the Turkish Defense Ministry said on Tuesday seven generals and admirals from the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) have requested retirement.

According to the statement, the request was not linked with a reshuffling in the army.

“Seven of our generals and admirals in the Turkish Armed Forces requested retirement of their own will. The retirement applications were approved on Aug. 18, 2017 after evaluation. The retirements of the relevant personnel have no relation to the general and admiral appointments announced on Aug. 20, 2017,” the ministry said.

Several media reports recently claimed that 10 generals, including Special Forces Commander Lt. Gen. Zekai Aksakallı, one of the key figures who foiled a coup attempt on July 15, 2016, resigned.

The reports said new appointments published in the Official Gazette on Saturday following Turkey’s Supreme Military Council (YAŞ) meeting at the beginning of August have revealed a crisis in the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK). Lt. Gen. Aksakallı requested retirement following his appointment as 2nd Corps commander.

A report by the online Duvar daily said 10 generals asked to retire following the new appointments and that the chief of general staff had been trying to persuade Lt. Gen. Aksakallı to withdraw his petition for retirement.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said there is no resentment in the military over reassignments following reports in the press of the resignation of 10 generals.

“There is no concept such as resentment in the military. A soldier does his duty wherever he is assigned. His [Aksakallı’s] assignment to the special forces is over. After decisions made at the YAŞ meeting, he was appointed to the 2nd Army Corps. From now on, he will continue his mission in his new assignment,” said Erdoğan.

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