Turkey’s military to recruit over 9,700 officers in 2018

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Nurettin Canikli, Turkey's minister of defence, speaks to the press about the NATO Defense Ministers' meetings in Brussels, Belgium. November 09, 2017. ( File Photo / AA )

Defence Minister Canikli says army’s training and recruitment mechanisms are being redesigned after the July 2016 coup attempt.

The Turkish army will recruit more than 9,700 military officers this year “to meet the urgent need,” Defence Minister Nurettin Canikli said on Monday.

Speaking at a news conference in the capital, Ankara, Canikli said 3,761officers and 5,992 non-commissioned officers were expected to be recruited in 2018.

The minister said the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO) – the group behind the defeated coup attempt in July 2016 that claimed more than 250 lives – had devastated the military’s recruitment system.

Canikli also said the military’s exams for officers held under the group’s supervision had enabled it to infiltrate the army before the coup bid.

The government established the National Defense University on July 31, 2016 to place the military’s undergraduate and graduate studies under one institution. Military high schools have been shut down.

In the redesigned format, only the university can accept applications from those who want to be part of the army at any level.

“Last year, more than 230,000 young people applied to enter our military schools. This is a record number,” Canikli said.

He added that the institutes are currently training about 6,900 young people, including over 600 foreign guest students.

Around 8,000 military officers were sacked from the army after the coup attempt.

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