Turkey Restructrures Army, Seeks Changes to Intelligence
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an has announced changes to the armed forces's organizational structure following the failed coup attempt on July 15.
Under the new regulations, the army, navy and air force will be directly answerable to the Defense Ministry, Anadolu Agency quotes him as saying in a live interview for a Turkish TV station.
Military schools and war academies will be shut down, and a universty of national defense will appear instead, alongside a gendarmerie academy. The size of the gendarmerie will be also cut.
Military hospitals will be assigned to the Health Ministry as well.
A possible move will be to make the General Staff and the country's National Intelligence Agency (MIT) answerable to the presidency, but this is yet to be discussed with opposition leaders.
The announcements follow a Supreme Military Council (YA?) meeting on Thursday where reshuffles were made to the Turkish Armed Forces, including the dishonourable discharge of 1700 military servicemen. Two four-star generals stepped down prior to the meeting.
In a separate move, 1389 military personnel will be expelled over alleged links to the movement of US-based Islamic cleric Fethullah G?len, which Turkey blames for the coup attempt and regards as a terrorist organization (referring to it as FET?).
But on Saturday Erdogan also told Haber TV that Gulen was only a pawn and the there were other driving forces behind the coup, without elaborating.
Some 66 000 civil servants have been dismissed and 50 000 passports have been cancelled in relation to the coup attempt.
As many as 142 media outlets have also been closed down over supposed links to G?len.
Turkey has been in a three-month state of emergency since July 20.
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