Ankara, Aug 6 () - Turkey has renewed its top military brass and appointed Land Forces Commander Gen. Hulusi Akar as the new Chief of General Staff, as his predecessor Gen. Necdet Özel has completed his four-year mandate. Gen. Özel is expected to hand over his seat to Gen. Akar on Aug. 14.
The appointment was revealed at the conclusion of the Supreme Military Council’s (YAŞ) annual three-day meeting, in which the council shaped the military’s new upper echelon. The YAŞ’s decisions were announced by presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın after they were approved by President Tayyip Erdoğan.
As Gen. Akar was appointed as the top soldier, 1st Army Commander Gen. Salih Zeki Çolak will replace him.
The new Air Forces Commander will be Gen. Abidin Ünal, who is the commander responsible for the Air Missile Defense System. Outgoing Air Forces Commander Gen. Akın Öztürk will continue to serve the army as a member of the YAŞ.
Naval Forces Commander Adm. Bülent Bostanoğlu’s tenure was extended for another year, while current Navy Commander Vice Adm. Fevzi Kösele was promoted so he can replace Bostanoğlu next year.
Current Aegean Forces Commander Gen. Galip Mendi will replace outgoing Gen. Abdullah Atay.
Yaşar Güler, the deputy chief of general staff, will continue to serve in his position.
Commander of the 3rd Army Gen. Ümit Dündar was appointed as the commander of the 1st Army in Istanbul while Commander of War Academies Gen. Abdullah Recep will serve as the Commander of the Aegean Forces.
As of Aug. 3, 32 generals and admirals have been promoted to a higher rank, 50 colonels appointed as generals and admirals while the tenure of 34 generals and admirals have been extended for another year, the army said in a separate statement.
Due to a lack of sufficient cadres, 33 generals and admirals have retired, while one general will be retired due to age limitations, it added.
Meanwhile, the status of 46 colonels whose promotions had been suspended due to the “Balyoz” (Sledgehammer) coup plot case was also discussed in the meeting.
Only three of the 46 colonels were promoted to a higher rank, the brigadier general post, while the ones who had completed their 31 years of legal service were sent to retirement and the others who had not completed this term remained in their current positions to be evaluated in the following year’s YAŞ meeting.
While the tenure of a brigadier general who had been arrested and them released in the Feb. 28, 1997, post-modern coup plot case was extended another year, three other brigadier generals who had also been suspects in the same case were sent to retirement.