Five Turkish generals resign protesting army reshuffle

Five Turkish army generals have handed in their retirements allegedly in protest against reshuffling decisions taken at the Supreme Military Council (YAS) meeting earlier this month, the T24 news portal reported late on Sunday.

One major general – Ahmet Ercan Corbaci – and four brigadier generals – Recep Ozdemir, Omer Faruk Ozdemir, Ugur Bulend Acarbay, and Ertugrul Saglam – have applied to retire following the YAS reshuffle in which 127 generals and admirals were assigned to new posts on August 2.

Last week, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed off on a decree, approving the YAS meeting decisions which were deemed an attempt to make the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) smaller, daily Cumhuriyet reported on Sunday, citing unnamed retired military officials.

With the decree, two lieutenant generals, instead of full generals, have been appointed as the head of TSK’s second and third armies. No lieutenant general was promoted to full general and some generals were retired before completing the required years of service.

Corbaci and Saglam had been appointed to Turkey’s southern border province of Adana as the commanders of a TSK division in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib, responsible for military observation checkpoints there.

The other three were also reportedly the commanders of other border provinces of Van, Hakkari, and Kilis.

“Five generals in TSK resigned. Four were newly assigned to units operating in Syria. This shows that not only have the waters in the TAF [TSK] not settled and there is a resistance to [Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi] Akar, but also that Syria perceived as a career killer “fill-empty” place among Turkish generals,” said Metin Gurcan, an Istanbul-based independent security analyst.

There was no immediate comment from Turkey’s defense ministry.

The Supreme Military Council (YAS), chaired by President Erdogan, is a committee that convenes annually to determine the TSK’s agenda, including promotions, dismissals, and placements of the high-ranking military personnel.

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