Turkey’s Erdoğan again reshuffles top military brass following resignations

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan issued a presidential decree on Wednesday that reshuffled the positions of six generals, following the reported resignation last week of five generals, Diken news site reported

The military reshuffling decided at a Supreme Military Council (YAŞ) earlier this month placed 127 generals and admirals in new posts, including lieutenant generals appointed to head the military’s second and third army commands, rather than full generals.

Major General Ahmet Ercan Çorbacı, who was the commander of the Turkish military’s division for Syria’s Idlib province, and lieutenant generals Recep Özdemir, Ömer Faruk Özdemir, Uğur Bülend Acarbay and Ertuğrul Sağlam submitted their resignations after the YAŞ reshuffle, T24 news site reported. 

On Monday, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said that only two generals had requested their retirement, calling it a natural right. Arslan Bulut, a columnist of the nationalist Yeniçağ newspaper, said in his Wednesday column that the generals resigned because they opposed Turkey’s Syria policy. 

“It is not in our country’s advantage to work against the central government in Syria and carry the load of an imperialist proxy war,” retired rear admiral Türker Ertürk said this week in reference to the resignations.  

None of the generals posted to new positions on Wednesday were assigned to Syria, and just one filled a hole left behind by a general that had resigned last week. 

Metin Gürcan, a political analyst, believes the resignations were not political, but meant to protest imbalances in their workloads. 

“Some generals in a way are saying ‘Why are others resting while we are working all the time?’ I hope Ankara gets the message,” he said on Twitter on Tuesday.