World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey's Supreme Military Council (YAŞ) convened on Wednesday to discuss promotions and retirement for members of the armed forces with the number one item on the agenda being the cases of officers arrested as part of ongoing coup investigations.
There are a total of 68 active duty generals and admirals under arrest. Forty of them are eligible for promotion to a higher rank at this year's YAŞ meeting.
The meeting is being chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan with the attendance of Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel, Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz and other force commanders.
Among the jailed officers are Lt. Gen. İsmail Hakkı Pekin, Lt. Gen. Nejat Bek, Lt. Gen. Yurdaer Olcan; Maj. Gen. Gürbüz Kaya, Maj. Gen. Ahmet Yavuz, Maj. Gen. İhsan Balaballı, Maj. Gen. Berkay Turgut, Vice Adm. Mehmet Otuzbiroğlu and Vice Adm. Kadir Sağdıç.
There is also speculation that Air Forces Commander Gen. Mehmet Erten will be asked to retire early during this year's YAŞ meeting, which is set to continue until Aug. 4. There are rumors in Ankara that Erten's dismissal could be related to his poor management capabilities with respect to the killing of 34 citizens by F-14 jets in Uludere in December 2011 after they were mistaken for members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the downing of a Turkish F-4 warship by Syrian forces on June 22.
Some also claim that Erten has consistently displayed a poor performance at National Security Council (MGK) meetings and might be replaced with Lt. Gen. Abidin Ünal, who is the most experienced general at the First Air Forces Command in Eskişehir. However, Ünal is also known for being “problematic” in terms of his loyalty to a political will.
The military is expected to resist the government's move to ask Erten to retire. After Gen. Bilgin Balanlı, the War Academies commander, was arrested as part of an investigation into the subversive Sledgehammer coup plan, Lt. Gen. Erten was promoted to the rank of general and appointed Air Forces commander during the 2011 YAŞ meeting.Last Mod: 01 Ağustos 2012, 16:05