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Military leaders in Turkey simultaneously step down

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Military leaders in Turkey simultaneously step down


A number of top military chiefs in Turkey have resigned without giving any clear explanation. Those who have stepped down include the head of Turkey’s armed forces, General Isik Kosaner, and the heads of the ground, naval and air force.

The relationship has been strained in recent years between the secularist military and the government, headed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamist-rooted AK Party. There have been ongoing trials targeting dozens of senior military officers who are accused of plotting to overthrow the government in 2003.

These resignations may have wider implications for Turkey, which has the second largest military of NATO member states. Already the effect has been felt economically, as following the news, the Turkish lira weakened against the dollar as the market closed on Friday.

The government has referred to the spate of departures as ‘retirements’ and the Supreme Military Council is due to discuss new appointments when it meets next week.

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