Turkey's Military Leaders Resign in High-Stakes Power Struggle

(Daily Beast) Soner Cagaptay - The Turkish military on Friday staged an "inverted coup" with a strike-style walkout by its top leadership. On Friday, Chief of Staff Gen. Isik Kosaner resigned, as did the heads of the Turkish Army, Navy and Air Force. A headless military is a risk in a country flanked by Iran, Iraq, and Syria, the last of which is undergoing revolutionary turmoil on the other side of a 500 mile-long border. In 2007, the ruling AKP party launched a court case, known as Ergenekon, which alleged a coup plot against the government and accused the military of involvement. Four years and hundreds of arrests later, the case has yet to reach a verdict. Around half of all Turkish admirals have been jailed. The final straw came when pro-AKP media suggested that 14 active-duty generals and admirals who had been arrested, though not yet indicted, would be forced to resign. Furthermore, on Thursday, police arrested 22 additional top-brass officers. By walking out, the military has in a way conceded defeat to the AKP. Yet, at the same time, the government needs a military, and a secular military is currently its only option.

2011-08-01 00:00:00

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