Turkish Supreme Military Council replaces land, air and navy commanders – media

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ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey decided on Wednesday to replace the heads of the army, air force and navy, local media reported, in the latest shake-up of the armed forces following last year’s failed coup.

The heads of the three branches will be replaced by other top members of the military, broadcaster NTV reported, following a meeting on Wednesday of the Supreme Military Council (YAS) chaired by Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.

The changes are expected to be presented to President Tayyip Erdogan for approval and then announced to the public. Military officials were not immediately available for comment.

The commander of the Turkish Land Forces, Salih Zeki Colak, will be replaced by the commander of the gendarmerie forces Yasar Guler, broadcaster NTV reported. It said Naval commander Bulent Bostanoglu would be replaced by Adnan Ozbal, a vice-admiral.

Air Force commander Abidin Unal will be replaced by Hasan Kucukakyuz, currently commander of the Turkish Warfare Air Force, NTV said.

However, Wednesday’s meeting marks its top military body’s third gathering since last July’s failed coup attempt, when rogue soldiers commandeered tanks, fighter jets and helicopters in an attempt to topple the government.

Last year, the YAS reduced the length of some officers’ service, while also putting 586 colonels into retirement and extending the period of service of another 434 colonels by two years.

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by David Dolan

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