Destinations Magazine

Turkey and Its Army: Erdogan and His Generals

By Stizzard
Turkey and its army: Erdogan and his generals

IMAGINE a country with NATO’s second-largest army that counts Iraq, Iran and Syria as neighbours and is encircled by the Aegean, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean—but has nobody to command its navy. Just such a situation looms in Turkey after this week’s resignation of Admiral Nusret Guner, the number two in the navy who was expected to take over when its incumbent head steps down in August. There are no other qualified candidates, not least because more than half of Turkey’s admirals are in jail, along with hundreds of generals and other officers (both serving and retired), all on charges of plotting to oust Turkey’s mildly Islamist Justice and Development (AK) government.Admiral Guner’s resignation came after prosecutors claimed that 75 naval officers being tried for allegedly running a sex-for-secrets ring had planted a spy camera in his teenaged daughter’s bedroom. In an emotional speech the admiral said he believed in his colleagues’ innocence.The series of cases known as Ergenekon has left Turkey’s once omnipotent armed forces weak and divided. At last count one in five Turkish generals, including Ilker Basbug, a former chief of the general staff,…

The Economist: Europe


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