Turkey stable after top brass quit

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Turkey stable after top brass quit

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The sudden resignation of Turkey’s four top military commanders on Friday provides Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan with an opportunity to extend his authority over the armed forces.

He made no reference to the resignations in a scheduled television address on Saturday, but has already named a new chief of staff.

The Supreme Military Council’s six-monthly meeting to make top appointments will go ahead as scheduled tomorrow.

Business as usual then, and that seems to be public opinion too.

“We live in a democracy. Governments are elected democratically. We are used to it and the military will get used to it too,” said one man in Istanbul.

The resignations follow a swathe of arrests of officers on conspiracy charges. In years gone by, generals were more likely to seize power than quit.

Euronews correspondent in Istanbul, Bora Bayraktar, commented: “The decision to step down would have lead to a major crisis in the past. But this time it was solved within four hours and the Turkish people seem content with that.

“Now everybody is focussed on Monday’s Supreme Military Council meeting.”