President Gul approves sacking of army Islamists

Turkey's President Abdullah Gul has approved the sackings of seven military personnel suspected of Islamist leanings, the military general staff said.

President Gul approves sacking of army Islamists
Every year, the staunchly secular military expels a few officers for "reactionary" – or Islamist – tendencies.

But this year, some commentators speculated that Gul, himself a former Islamist, might refuse to approve the expulsions as he did when he was briefly prime minister.

"The Supreme Military Council decided with majority vote to expel seven personnel with reactionary attitude and behaviour," the army said in a statement posted on its website late on Friday.

The decision to expel the soldiers came after a two-day meeting of the Supreme Military Council chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Gul, as commander in chief of the armed forces, was required to sign the expulsions.

When he served briefly as prime minister in late 2002, Gul had refused to approve similar sackings of Islamist-minded officers, the newspapers said.

As well as the seven soldiers dismissed for suspected Islamist views, a further 31 military personnel were also dismissed for other misdemeanours including drug use and other unspecified immoral behaviour.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 02 Aralık 2007, 19:08